"Murrow's whole life was a profile in courage," said Rather.
For nearly a quarter of a century, Dan Rather spoke the truth to millions of Americans each night from the CBS Evening News anchor chair, following in the footsteps of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.
"Literally, I tried to ask myself before interviews, how would Ed Murrow handle this interview?" said Rather.
It comes as no surprise that Rather was selected to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday night, from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Rather's keynote address focused on Murrow and the legacy he left behind, which Rather said gave him the conviction to never be afraid.
"He had physical courage, and perhaps more important, courage of the heart," said Rather.
Rather worked in the news division that Murrow led at CBS, and eventually anchored the same newscast that Murrow once did. Rather said that where ever he went, Murrow's legacy dictated his actions.
"I always had Ed Murrow as my North Star, Murrow was my true North." said Rather.
Rather's signature sign-off for a period in his career was just simply the word "courage." He used that word to invoke the spirit of strength and dedication in spite of the obstacles he faced in his reports.
"I know how many people have to have real courage and have to face situations where bravery is required everyday," said Rather. "Single mom with three kids who's working two jobs, trying to make ends meet. That's real courage."
Rather said that courage was an important word to his father and his use of the word, it also pays tribute to his family. Rather is known and revered as a lion of the broadcast journalism industry.
"And to all of you, courage," said Rather. "For the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather reporting. Good night."
After departing from CBS in 2005, Rather teamed up with AXS TV where he hosts "Dan Rather Reports," a weekly one hour show. He also owns an independent company called News and Guts Media.