Ron Cochran

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Ron Cochran in a Promotional image for "The ABC Evening News with Ron Cochran" in 1963

Ron Cochran (September 20, 1912 – July 25, 1994) was a television news journalist for ABC and CBS. He served as the anchor of the ABC Evening News (now known as ABC World News Tonight) from 1962 to 1965. In November 1963, he served as the network's principal anchor for the around-the-clock coverage of the Kennedy assassination. Before that, he hosted the CBS drama television series Armstrong Circle Theatre.

Cochran was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, near Moose Jaw. He grew up in Iowa and attended Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa. After working in Midwest radio stations he joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation for two years. Then, in 1945, he went to work at a Boston radio station.

In 1951 he was hired by CBS, where he did both television and radio based in Washington. It was in 1954 that he went to WCBS-TV, to reinforce its 11 P.M. news program. He also was the moderator of the CBS-TV programs "Man of the Week," from 1952 to 1954, and "Youth Takes a Stand," from 1954 to 1955, and CBS Radio's "Answer, Please!" from 1958 to 1959.

After moving to ABC, he anchored "The ABC Evening News with Ron Cochran" from 1963 to 1965. He then started Ron Cochran Enterprises, which produced radio and television programs.[1]

Cochran was the main anchor of ABC's break in coverage of the Assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Cochran announced the death of President Kennedy as "confirmed" and ABC News ran a graphic showing Kennedy's picture and the dates 1917-1963 after a wire service report came to him that "government sources in Washington" had stated the President was dead, something both CBS' Walter Cronkite and NBC's Bill Ryan chose not to do. This wire report came to Cochran several minutes before assistant press secretary Malcolm Kilduff officially announced the President's death.[2]

Despite the rival networks' expansion in 1963 of their evening newscasts to a full half-hour, ABC Evening News would run only 15 minutes during Cochran's tenure; the network deferred expansion until Peter Jennings, his successor, took over the anchor's desk for his first stint. He later went to KGO-TV and anchored newscasts with Roger Grimsby.

Cochran died July 25, 1994, aged 81, in Lake Worth, Florida, after a heart attack.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Ron Cochran, 81, Television Anchor". New York Times. July 26, 1994.
  2. ^
Preceded by
John Cameron Swayze, Al Mann, Bill Lawrence
ABC Evening News News anchor
1962 – 1964
Succeeded by
Peter Jennings