By Voice Of America, Reprinted By The Raleigh Telegram
NEW YORK – Mike Wallace — an entertainer in the early days of television who rose to become one of America’s best known broadcast journalists — has died. He was 93.
In a statement Sunday, the CBS network said Wallace died Saturday at an extended care facility in Connecticut after a long illness.
Wallace spent nearly 40 years on the ground-breaking CBS news magazine “60 Minutes.” There, he interviewed hundreds of the world’s most prominent public figures, from U.S. presidents, generals, artists and athletes to international dignitaries, writers, playwrights and Hollywood stars. Wallace interviewed such newsmakers as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Ayatollah Khomeni, Vladmir Putin, Bill Clinton, and many others. He also interviewed scores of lesser-known figures, including suspected cheats, fraudsters, and many others alleged to have used dubious means to achieve wealth and fame.
CBS on Sunday cited Wallace’s “extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster,” calling him “a force within the television industry throughout its existence.”
Wallace’s relentless style drew millions of viewers and fans to Sunday night television, where “60 Minutes” has been a mainstay since its first broadcast segment in 1968. Wallace was known for his hard-hitting style and his ability to ask common sense but pointed questions that were often at odds with the subject’s desire not to talk about sensitive issues. It became somewhat of a cliche that if Mike Wallace was knocking at your door wanting to do an interview, then you probably were in pretty big trouble.
But that style also drew criticism and a highly publicized lawsuit stemming from the Vietnam War.
That suit, brought by US Army General William C. Westmoreland — the commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam — sought $120 million in damages for a Wallace-anchored “60 Minutes” report alleging the general deceived the American public by under-counting the enemy in Vietnam. The case went to trial in 1984, and months later Westmoreland withdrew his lawsuit.
Wallace later revealed in an interview with colleague Morley Safer that he had attempted suicide during the lawsuit crisis. He later spoke repeatedly about his recovery from depression and said the years after the attempt were some of the most productive of his long life. ::
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The Voice Of America is a US government run news agency. Some parts of this article were added to the original article by VOA and underwent some editing by The Raleigh Telegram.
Article Posted: Sunday, April 8th, 2012