Beloved newsman Walter Cronkite is “not at death’s door,” says a source who knows the score.

Last night frenzied reports indicated that Cronkite was “gravely ill” and soon to pass away.

But I’ve spoken with someone close to the 92-year-old CBS legend. And here’s the story: “He is not dying. He’s eating, talking, and going outside. When he goes outside he’s in a wheelchair and he has an aide. But he’s 92. He doesn’t have cancer or any other maladies. Just old age. Maybe someone saw him in the park and thought he didn’t look well.”

My source did concede that Cronkite is “failing in the sense that he’s simply old.” It’s unclear how the emergency death watch signal went out last night.

Cronkite, my source assured me, is surrounded by friends and family including his lady friend of the last few years, Joanna Simon, the opera singer and sister of Carly Simon. The Martha’s Vineyard neighbors became close after the deaths of their mutual spouses, and even considered getting married.

And that’s the way it is, as Cronkite would say, for now.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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