CHARLES KURALT (1934-1997)

Charles Kuralt could do epic news--war in Vietnam, turmoil in China, politics in Latin America--the big stories that are hard to miss. But he was the master of the small story, the kind we tend to miss. "I have resolutely pursued irrelevance out there on the back roads," he said. And so, with his warm baritone and neighborly mien, Kuralt traveled America to discover centenarian entertainers, whittlers, slingshot artists, brickmakers and an astonishing host of the overlooked, transforming them into roadside reminders in the media fast lane of a real world with real people in real time. Irrelevance, indeed.

Kuralt, 62,...

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