Veteran CBS journalist Mike Wallace dead at 93: network

Sun Apr 8, 2012 2:55pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mike Wallace, the grand inquisitor of CBS's "60 Minutes" news show who once declared there was "no such thing as an indiscreet question," has died at the age of 93, the network said on Sunday.

Wallace died on Saturday evening with his family by his side at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, Connecticut, where he spent the past few years, CBS said in a statement and on its Sunday morning news broadcast.

"His extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster is immeasurable and he has been a force within the television industry throughout its existence. His loss will be felt by all of us at CBS," Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corporation, said in the statement.

Wallace left his full-time role at "60 Minutes" in 2006 after 38 years and was given the title correspondent emeritus and a part-time contributor role. His last interview was with Roger Clemens, the star baseball pitcher accused of steroid use, in 2008.

A special "60 Minutes" program dedicated to Wallace will be aired April 15.

Just about anyone who made news during the past six decades - in the United States, but often abroad too - had to submit to a grilling by Wallace.

As a part-time correspondent, his most notable interview was with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran. It took place 27 years after his sit-down with that country's Ayatollah Khomeini, and earned Wallace his 21st Emmy.

In almost 40 years on "60 Minutes," the ground-breaking investigative journalism program, he worked on some 800 reports and developed a relentless on-air style that was often more interrogation than interview.

Wallace also drew criticism for his go-for-the-throat style and the theatrics that sometimes accompanied it. He also became caught up in a $120 million libel suit that resulted in no judgment against him or CBS but triggered a case of depression that led him to attempt suicide.   Continued...

 
Mike Wallace, Co-Editor 60 MINUTES, and CBS NEWS Correspondent is pictured in this 2001 CBS photograph. Wallace, who earned a reputation as a tough interviewer on the network's "60 Minutes" show, died at the age of 93, the network said on April 8, 2012. REUTERS/Peter Freed/CBS/Handout