When Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) returned to space at 77 in 1998, so did Cronkite, at 82, to co-anchor CNN's coverage. He continued hosting the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Eve concert until he was 91.
In retirement at his home in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Cronkite pursued his lifelong passion for sailing on his ketch named the Wyntje and wrote books, including his well-received 1996 autobiography, "A Reporter's Life."
At home, he was "gregarious," relishing "spinning a one-line joke out into an elaborate shaggy dog story," daughter Kathy Cronkite once recalled.
He expressed regret about being so aloof at work but was known for his hilarious parody of a burlesque queen's striptease -- he ultimately removed no more than his jacket and tie -- at his annual Christmas party for CBS colleagues.
Cronkite often joked that he should have been a song-and-dance man and reveled in his wife's sense of humor. They had been married for 65 years when she died in 2005.
Cronkite's survivors include his son, Walter Cronkite III, who is known as Chip; his daughters, Kathy and Nancy; and four grandsons.
His mother, Helen, lived to be 101 and died in 1993.
Had he known he would age so well, Cronkite would not have given up the anchor job so easily or so early, he often said.
Nearly a decade after retiring, he was asked what news story he wished he could have been in position to cover.
"Every one," he said.