CBS News Legend Mike Wallace Has Died

Mike Wallace

Photo: Terry Ballard, Flickr

CBS news legend Mike Wallace has died at the age of 93.The news was officially announced on CBS News on Sunday this morning, according to CNN’s Steve Brusk.

Wallace was one of the original journalists on 60 Minutes, where he remained for decades before officially stopping work in 2008.

Back in December, Wallace’s son Chris Wallace — who is of course a host on Fox News — described his father’s condition in an interview with Playboy.

PLAYBOY: Your dad is legendary for asking tough questions. Would he interrogate you about homework and girls and all that?

WALLACE: He was always amazingly direct and probing. I remember when I went to college, I had to basically present to him how much money I thought I needed for the semester. It was a silly exercise. I knew he was going to give it to me, but it was as though he wanted to put me through my paces. “Why do you need that? Why can’t you do this instead?” Part of it was he was cheap. But I think he enjoyed the back-and-forth. He likes people who can talk back and engage with him.

PLAYBOY: How is he now, by the way?

WALLACE: Well, thank you for asking. My dad is 93 and showing it for the first time. He’s in a facility in Connecticut. Physically, he’s OK. Mentally, he’s not. He still recognises me and knows who I am, but he’s uneven. The interesting thing is, he never mentions 60 Minutes. It’s as if it didn’t exist. It’s as if that part of his memory is completely gone. The only thing he  really talks about is family— me, my kids, my grandkids, his great-grandchildren. There’s a lesson there. This is a man who had a fabulous career and for whom work always came first. Now he can’t even remember it.

The NYT’s Brian Stelter writes:

Mr. Wallace was perhaps best known for ambush interviews of crooks and cheats. Mr. Wallace “invented a new paradigm for television news, creating a signature technique that would become a standard in the industry,” the biographer Peter Rader writes in a new book, “Mike Wallace: A Life.”

Mr. Wallace entered semi-retirement in 2006. He last appeared on “60 Minutes” in January 2008, when he had an exclusive interview with Roger Clemens, a baseball legend who had been accused of steroid use.

For more, see CBS’ Morley Safer, who has a long remembrance of Wallace here  >

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