The first television news anchorman, Douglas Edwards, who began his career at the age of 15 on a makeshift radio station in Alabama, died yesterday in Sarasota, Fla., where he lived. He was 73.
Mr. Edwards, who worked for CBS from 1942 until 1988, suffered from cancer, said Roy Brunett, a spokesman for the network.
"Doug Edwards was an old-fashioned journalist of the best kind -- always diligent and always fair," Charles Kuralt, anchor of the CBS News program "Sunday Morning," said yesterday.
Mr. Kuralt had been a writer for Mr. Edwards on the first television network news program, which went on the air in 1948.
Mr. Edwards was born on July 14, 1917, in Ada, Okla. Fifteen years later, after his family had moved to Troy, Ala., he became what he called the "junior" announcer on a 100-watt radio station.
He already had 10 years of broadcast experience when he joined CBS as a radio news reporter in 1942.
Toward the end of World War II, he was assigned to CBS's London staff, where he worked with Edward R. Murrow.
"Douglas Edwards with the News," television's first nightly network news program, was broadcast for 14 years. The show -- which began airing coast to coast in 1951 -- became the world's largest single news medium with 34 million viewers. Mr. Edwards was succeeded by Walter Cronkite.