Walter Cronkite, former CBS anchorman who earned the reputation of "the most trusted man in America," successfully underwent heart surgery in a New York hospital today and is expected to make a complete recovery. "He's out of surgery and he's doing very well," said Marlene Adler, chief of staff for his CBS office. Cronkite is 80.

Adler called the quadruple bypass procedure "a routine operation" to correct a clogged artery. "He was already planning to take a vacation with his wife to the Far East and had blocked a month off," Adler said. "He just decided to go ahead with the surgery at this time." The broadcaster still plans to attend the United Nations World Press Day on May 2, she said, and will take his postponed vacation some time in July.

Cronkite had just gotten off a book tour for his autobiography, which was published late last year. A Reporter's Life chronicles his career as a journalist who covered World War II and the tumultuous '60s as well as anchoring the nightly news for 19 years for CBS.

In his memoir, Cronkite wrote that he feels broadcast news, the medium he helped create, is seriously flawed. "I feel sorry for [news anchors] because they are really handcuffed today by the commercial considerations that are ratings," Cronkite told the Los Angeles Times. "As a consequence, they have to suffer with the evening news broadcasts that aren't news, but features material...And that's a tragedy for all of us."

Since his retirement 16 years ago, the veteran journalist has been producing documentaries and remains a special correspondent for his old network.

But he's also said that he felt CBS ignored him after his retirement in 1981 at the age of 65 to make way for Dan Rather. "I was disappointed with my treatment," he told the Times. "I did feel hurt about it...If I had known I was going to be shut out of future contributions to CBS News, I would have stayed as anchor."

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