Legendary journalist Mike Wallace remembered for tough questions

April 16, 2012 Blogs, Former Pioneer Staff Print Print
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Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace, 93, died on Saturday, April 7, surrounded by family in a long-term care center in Canaan, Connecticut.

Wallace, a legendary journalist, was perhaps best known as a respected, fact-finding “60 Minutes” broadcaster.

Wallace may be most remembered for his stern, determined interviewing style as he cleared the decks and brought the truth about politicians, news-makers and celebrities, to America, and the world.

Wallace was a fascinating and charismatic person. He intrigued a nation, as he boldly asked the tough questions.

Wallace didn’t pull any punches. He was well know to ask, “forgive me” of the person being interviewed. That’s when they knew they were about to get it.

Americans sat glued to their seats, in front of the TV, weighing in as both judge and jury.

Wallace was already an established journalist in the 1940s and ‘50s appearing on radio and television programs where he began as narrator/announcer and later as a reporter. He honed his interviewing skills on “Night Beat”, which aired in 1956.

In 1968 when CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired, Wallace, a staunch reporter, would show up unannounced and go head to head with the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader, in 1979; and Barbra Streisand, to name a few. In an effort to try to capture a true sense of the leader, celebrity or news-maker he was focused on.

Celebrities and politicians feared Wallace for that very reason. He was honest in his approach and treated everyone with respect.

In 1991, Wallace was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In addition to 21 Emmy Awards, he was the recipient of five DuPont-Columbia journalism and five Peabody Awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award grand prize and numerous other journalism awards.

As reported in the Washington Post, CBS will air a special broadcast dedicated to Wallace on “60 Minutes” next Sunday, April 15.

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