Dan Rather was the face of the news division on CBS for many decades. His career took him all over the world, but his wife, Jean, worked hard to keep their family together. With over 60 years together, Rather does not believe his life would have been worth living without her.
Dan Rather was a famous journalist who started his career in Texas before becoming a national name for his reporting skills. Rather was not afraid to throw himself into the thick of things to get to the bottom of a story.
The journalist spent the majority of his career at CBS. He worked with the network for 44 years, spent 24 years as an anchoring managing editor of the “CBS Evening News” and spent time on “60 Minutes.”
Rather described his time on CBS as “magic” and a dream come true. He loved how dedicated each anchor was to getting to the bottom of the truth and delivering the best news to their audience.While Rather traveled the world hunting for the best news stories, his wife, Jean, took care of their children. The couple met while the journalist worked at KTRH radio in Houston.
Jean was there to start a position as a secretary and Rather fell in love instantly. “In my case, it was love at first sight. Not only was she so intelligent, she was smoking hot, and it took me a while to convince her to marry me,” he recalled.
The couple has been together for over six decades, and when asked what the secret behind the long-lasting marriage is, Rather said it was nothing besides constantly putting in the work and effort to make their union work.
The news anchor was lucky to have a wife who supported his busy career and helped him stay grounded. He admitted that he spent most of the years away from home, leaving Jean to raise their two children alone. “Mostly thanks to Jean, they have grown into very good adults,” he expressed.Although Rather spent time away from home reporting on historical moments, like the Civil Rights Movement, and spent approximately a year in Vietnam in 1965, he never took for granted the work his wife did to keep their family together.
Despite his important work, Rather still said he would feel worthless if Jean ever left him. In fact, the 91-year-old did not believe he would still be alive if he had not been married to his wife of over 60 years.He credited Jean for constantly checking on his health, ensuring he did everything to stay on top of his exercises and not put his body through too much strain. But above everything, he appreciated how she put emphasis on a good work-life balance.
Rather admitted, “I made mistakes when the children were young. We moved around too much. I wasn’t home anywhere near what would have been ideal.” However, now that he has hung his anchor coat, he has been trying to make up for this instability by becoming a present father and a doting grandfather.
The many decades that Rather spent as a CBS reporter had him recognized as the leader and face of the network’s news division. Through these many decades, the journalist has managed to survive controversies.Rather and his producer, Mary Mapes, collaborated on a segment that featured an explosive story about Abu Ghraib. Mapes and the news reporter wanted to keep the story from airing because the network feared it would affect its audience.
However, the executives eventually agreed to air the story, which earned Rather an award. The moment was emotional for the father of two as he had accepted the award without Mapes, who had already lost her job.In September 2004, a story that changed everything for the journalist was reported. He admitted it was not delivered in the best way and that there were mishaps in how the truth was gathered.
Although Rather had to publicly announce that CBS did not support the documents behind the story, he stood by the fact that he reported hard-hitting truth.
Nonetheless, the complications surrounding the story cost four people their jobs. Rather’s presence on air also got less and less. He had planned to step down on his 25th year of being on “CBS Evening News,” but he was let go a year earlier in 2005.
Life as a Grandfather
Rather spoke fondly of the life his two children have built. He and his wife welcomed a daughter, Robin, and a son, Danjack. He said his daughter had built a business for herself and was passionate about sustainability and her work as an environmental activist.
His son retired from his 33-year-long career as an assistant district attorney. Danjack has a son, Martin, who is also on his way to doing big things. Rather proudly revealed that he ran a political campaign for a candidate for state legislature. Robin’s son, Andy, took time off college to travel to Nepal and do public service.
Looking back at his days as a news reporter, Rather remembered when he would spend only 41 days at home throughout the year. He knew that spending that little time with his family took a toll on his marriage, but he and Jean were willing to do everything to make it work.He believed that part of the reason his marriage survived these challenges was because he tried his best to “switch off” work when he was home and fully be present with his family.
Now, Rather loves to spend time with his family. He shared a special picture celebrating the holidays with his wife and grandson Martin. He expressed that he loved spending this time resting and reading the bible, but Martin had also introduced the idea of playing trivia games.Rather and Martin share a close relationship. The journalist has shared many of their sweet moments, including ice cream dates, road trip adventures, and more. After a long career, Rather is remembered for his dedication to reporting news. He is about to celebrate his 92nd birthday and loves the thrill of adventure.