Peter Cronkite, grandson of legendary newsman Walter Cronkite, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his dorm room on April 26. He was 22.
Peter was scheduled to graduate next month.
The college where his “intelligence and kind, incredibly likeable personality, won him scores of friends and admirers” immediately released a public statement expressing their collective grief over Cronkite’s death.
“Peter’s death is devastating to his family, his many friends and the entire Colby community. Our hearts are heavy as we try to come to terms with this tremendous loss,” wrote Colby College president David A. Greene.
Peter Cronkite was accomplished in his own right; he was a graduate of St. Bernard’s School in Manhattan and Horace Mann School in the Bronx. In some of his many college pursuits, he followed in his famous grandfather’s shoes. At Colby, Cronkite worked as sports editor for the Colby Echo newspaper and tutored at the college’s writing center, according to his New York Times obituary.
Today we mourn the sudden loss of Peter Cronkite '15. He was a dedicated and loved member of our community. He will be sorely missed.— Colby Women's Rugby (@colby_wrfc) April 27, 2015
For once I don't feel like watching hockey. Rest in peace Peter Cronkite, one of the nicest kids I've played with— Carl Legg (@CarAlarm94) April 27, 2015
Sports were also central to Peter’s life — he coached youth hockey, played college rugby, worked for the New York Mets last summer, and covered the 2012 Olympics for Sports Illustrated, added the Hollywood Reporter.
But Peter’s major wasn’t in journalism — he chose classical civilization as his main field of study, with cinema studies as a minor. Cronkite even spent a summer studying in Greece and another on an archaeological dig in Ostia, Italy. At 9, he voiced Dennis the Menace in an animated film, the New York Daily News added.
All of these accomplishments piece together a picture of an ambitious young man of varied interests. The details missing from media reports about his death are the circumstances that led Cronkite to suicide.
Reports suggest that police in Waterville, where Colby is located, responded to an emergency at the college; whether the call is connected to Peter isn’t known. According to the Daily News, police discovered Cronkite’s body in his dorm room.
Cronkite is survived by his parents, actress Deborah Rush and Walter Cronkite III, and his brother, Walter Cronkite IV. Peter’s famous grandfather died in 2009 at 92.
Back at Colby, grief services were provided to students and the flag flown at half mast in Peter’s honor, Greene continued in his public statement.
“I know I am not the only person for whom this raises intense emotions. Of course those who were closest to Peter bear the greatest burden. But the death of a member of our community is a loss for everyone.”
[Photo Courtesy Hollywood Reporter Twitter]