Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, Kuralt attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked as a reporter for the Charlotte News in his home state before moving to the CBS network as a writer, where he became well-known as the host of the Eyewitness to History series. He travelled around the world as a journalist for the network, including stints as CBS's Chief Latin American Correspondent and then as Chief West Coast Correspondent.
From 1967 to 1980, he produced the regular "On the Road" human-interest segment for the CBS Evening News, and hosted the CBS Sunday Morning program from 1979 to 1994. During his career, he won three Peabody awards and ten Emmy awards for journalism.