Quips, digs and movie worries in papers from Washington Post's Bradlee

Wed Jun 3, 2015 8:24am EDT
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By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee quarreled with a TV talk show host, wanted to cool growth in local liquor stores and had doubts about whether his name should be used in acclaimed Watergate movie "All the President's Men."

This is according to a collection of nearly 70 boxes of personal papers from Bradlee acquired by the Harry Ransom Center, a University of Texas library specializing in original source material.

Then there are the quips from Bradlee, the hard-driving, salty-tongued executive editor who reigned with style as the newspaper helped topple President Richard Nixon.

Bradlee died in 2014 at the age of 93.

"What do we do about leaks? How do we recognize them? It depends on who gets wet," Bradlee wrote in a note.

He joked with an academic, "I always thought a guy who had Ph.D. after his name was on the lam from something."

The Ransom Center will soon start cataloguing documents from six decades of his professional life so material relating to his work at the Post and correspondence with journalists, politicians and cultural figures can be used by researchers.

Bradley's work guiding young reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they traced a 1972 burglary at Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office and apartment complex back to the Nixon White House has been celebrated from journalism schools to Hollywood.   Continued...

Ben Bradlee (L), a former Washington Post executive editor, and Bob Woodward, a former Post reporter, pose for a photo during a tour of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, inside the Nixon birthplace home before their discussion about the Watergate Hotel burglary and stories for the Post, in Yorba Linda, California in this April 18, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo/Files