50 Greatest Dan Rather Quotes of All Time

Last Updated:

Which are your favorite Dan Rather quotes?

Dan Rather is an American journalist and retired news anchor. He is best known for his former position serving as a national news anchor for the huge American news media program, the ‘CBS Evening News’ which he held for notably more than 20 years.

Rather was also well-known as one of the ‘Big Three’ of the most respected news anchors in the U.S. alongside ‘Peter Jennings’ and ‘Tom Brokaw’.

Rather became a national name after his first national broadcast helped initiate the successful evacuation of thousands of lives when Hurricane Carla hit. His many contributions to the national press no wonder earned him numerous awards, including ‘Emmy Awards’ and ‘Peabody Awards’.

Here’s a collection of the greatest Dan Rather quotes:


50 Greatest Dan Rather Quotes of All Time

1. “The great lesson my mother and father gave me was almost invisible. It was a strong sense of being rooted.” – Dan Rather

2. “Never eat spinach just before going on the air.” – Dan Rather

3. “A free and truly independent press – fiercely independent when necessary – is the red beating heart of freedom and democracy.” – Dan Rather

4. “An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.” – Dan Rather

5. “Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy.” – Dan Rather

6. “Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” – Dan Rather

7. “As long as I have my health, I want to be reporting somewhere.” – Dan Rather

8. “The press is a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can’t be right all the time. He doesn’t bark only when he sees or smells something that’s dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

9. “Once the herd starts moving in one direction, it’s very hard to turn it, even slightly.” – Dan Rather


10th of 50 Dan Rather Quotes

10. “Fear rules almost every newsroom in the country.” – Dan Rather


11. “From the streets of Cairo and the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, from the busy political calendar to the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, social media was not only sharing the news but driving it.” – Dan Rather

12. “I don’t back down. I don’t cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces.” – Dan Rather

13. “Those market researchers… are playing games with you and me and with this entire country. Their so-called samples of opinion are no more accurate or reliable than my grandmother’s big toe was when it came to predicting the weather.” – Dan Rather

14. “They may have turned this up, whether you had the Paula Jones case or not. But again maybe not, but again that’s like if a frog had side pockets he’d probably wear a handgun.” – Dan Rather

15. “And for whatever reason, I’ve loved the news since I can remember. I loved it when I was in elementary school.” – Dan Rather

16. “Covering the civil-rights movement was a mind- and eye-opener for me. Houston was a segregated society, as was Texas as a wholesome of it by law, a lot of it by fear and tradition. But there was no violence where I lived, and if there was hate, it was either concealed from me or I just didn’t recognize it.” – Dan Rather

17. “Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.” – Dan Rather

18. “What separated Ed Murrow from the rest of the pack was courage.” – Dan Rather

19. “I was really lucky to work at CBS news. I was blessed to be able to live my dream in many ways at CBS news.” – Dan Rather


20th of 50 Dan Rather Quotes

20. “Journalists should denounce government by public opinion polls.” – Dan Rather


21. “I don’t pretend to be a digital savant or even a digital apprentice.” – Dan Rather

22. “I’ve always tried to be fair, even-handed, not an advocate for any group.” – Dan Rather

23. “Always marry a woman from Texas. No matter how tough things get, she’s seen tougher.” – Dan Rather

24. “I’m a believer in what your record is. I am what my record is – some of it good, some of it bad, some of it hard to tell.” – Dan Rather

25. “I think it’s important for the public to know, great reporting starts with a publisher who has guts and an editor who has guts.” – Dan Rather

26. “What I say or do here won’t matter much, nor should it.” – Dan Rather

27. “I’m proud to say I’ve never been anybody’s lapdog.” – Dan Rather

28. “But we cannot rely on memorials and museums alone. We can tell ourselves we will never forget and we likely won’t. But we need to make sure that we teach history to those who never had the opportunity to remember in the first place.” – Dan Rather

29. “If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.” – Dan Rather


30th of 50 Dan Rather Quotes

30. “There is no doubt that the way journalism worked when I was growing up and getting started has changed forever.” – Dan Rather


31. “I still love following and thinking about politics. I enjoy recommending important journalism I read or see from other sources.” – Dan Rather

32. “Well, first of all, I don’t want to debate the word conservative, but by my definition, a conservative is someone who wants to conserve the Constitution of the United States and the American tradition and law that no one is above the law.” – Dan Rather

33. “And now the sequence of events in no particular order.” – Dan Rather

34. “If I didn’t have a front-row seat on history, it was at least a seat on the aisle.” – Dan Rather

35. “One of the most important roles of our journalists is to be watchdogs.” – Dan Rather

36. “For years Don Imus was just – boy, he was merciless in his criticism of me. Maybe it was justified, but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.” – Dan Rather

37. “Start-ups like UniversityNow, a network of low-cost, online colleges, allows students to work at their own pace and pay a few hundred dollars a month for a degree.” – Dan Rather

38. “Don’t taunt the alligator until after you’ve crossed the creek.” – Dan Rather

39. “Only votes talk, everything else walks.” – Dan Rather


40th of 50 Dan Rather Quotes

40. “I respect and empathize with reporters and editors who must compete in today’s environment. And I know full well that when I’ve been covering campaigns, which I still do, I’ve made my mistakes and have been far from perfect.” – Dan Rather


41. “As someone who’s been covering presidential campaigns since the 1950s, I have no delusions about political reporting. Candidates bargaining access to get the kind of news coverage they want is nothing new.” – Dan Rather

42. “I had just turned 10-years-old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and plunged America into World War II.” – Dan Rather

43. “Performing doesn’t turn me on. It’s an egomaniac business, filled with prima donnas – including this one.” – Dan Rather

44. “A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.” – Dan Rather

45. “A college degree is the key to realizing the American dream, well worth the financial sacrifice because it is supposed to open the door to a world of opportunity.” – Dan Rather

46. “Now, I know you expected me to say that, well, I just kick back in the rocking chair, fished a little bit, listened to Willie Nelson tapes, and watched old baseball games on the Classic Sports network. And, tell you the truth, I have done that for maybe about five total minutes.” – Dan Rather

47. “This much we know: Journalism is not a precise science. It’s, on its best day, is a crude art. We make mistakes; I make mistakes. With more than 50 years as a journalist, I have at least had the opportunity to blow more stories, make more mistakes than maybe anybody in television.” – Dan Rather

48. “This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex.” – Dan Rather

49. “Ratings don’t last. Good journalism does.” – Dan Rather

50. “The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth’.” – Dan Rather



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Dan Rather! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Dan Rather quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Clive Owen Net Worth

What is Clive Owen's net worth?  Introduction   Clive Owen is an...

Dave Matthews Net Worth

Dave Matthews became fabulously wealthy as the force behind the Dave Mathews Band, and now has an estimated net worth of over $300 million.

Beanie Feldstein Net Worth

What is Beanie Feldstein's net worth? Introduction  As of ,...

Sachin Tendulkar Net Worth

Find out how former professional cricketer and entrepreneur Sachin Tendulkar reshaped cricket and accumulated his vast net worth.

Memphis Bleek Net Worth

What is Memphis Bleek's net worth?    Introduction  Memphis Bleek is a...

Matt LeBlanc Net Worth

What is Matt LeBlanc's net worth? Introduction  As of ,...

Latest Net Worth Profiles

Barry Levinson Net Worth

Barry Levinson earned a fortune as a comedic writer, actor, and director, becoming incredibly wealthy from his iconic films.

Jeff Jarrett Net Worth

Jeff Jarrett wrestled his way to becoming the six-time Intercontinental Champion, earning millions in the ring and creating an enormous fortune along the way.

Roger Waters Net Worth

Breaking down Roger Waters' net worth, covering his work with iconic prog rock band Pink Floyd and his lucrative solo career.

Peter Hook Net Worth

Exploring the music career, iconic playing style, and net worth of Joy Division and New Order bass guitarist Peter Hook.

Paul McCartney Net Worth

Find out how former Beatles songwriter and icon of British rock Paul McCartney has accumulated his impressive fortune and net worth.

Phil Mickelson Net Worth

Breaking down the income and net worth of one of the most iconic professional golfers of all time, Phil Mickelson.

Robert Lewandowski Net Worth

Discover the career highs, championship successes, and net worth of the Polish soccer champion Robert Lewandowski.

Robert Plant Net Worth

Discover how singer and songwriter Robert Plant earned his impressive net worth with Led Zeppelin and as a solo artist.

Pete Tong Net Worth

Exploring the net worth, radio and venue DJ spots, and media appearances of English DJ and music producer Pete Tong.

Oscar De La Hoya...

Exploring the world titles and iconic fights that helped former professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya earn his fame and fortune.