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Veteran journalist Mike Wallace dead at 93

Sunday, April 08, 2012 - 01:55

April 8 - Mike Wallace, the grand inquisitor of CBS's ''60 Minutes'' died at age 93 in Connecticut. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION 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 (April 8). Wallace died on Saturday (April 7) 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. 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, who was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 9, 1918, 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. Wallace interviewed every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy - with the exception of George W. Bush - and dozens of other world leaders like Yasser Arafat, Ayatollah Khomeini and Deng Xiaoping. Other interview subjects included everyone from Malcolm X to Janis Joplin, Martin Luther King Jr., Johnny Carson, Vladimir Horowitz and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. 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. He was saved by his wife, Mary after he tried to kill himself with a drug overdose in 1984. Wallace often spoke about his recovery from depression and said the years after his suicide attempt were some of the most productive of his life. Wallace, who was married four times, had a daughter, Pauline, and son, Chris, also a television journalist. Another son, Peter, died in a mountain-climbing accident in 1962. When Wallace prefaced a question with "Forgive me for asking ..." or responded to a dubious answer with "Oh, come on," "60 Minutes" viewers knew he was about to get tough. His sometimes-abrasive manner resulted in the nickname "Mike Malice," and some viewers will always remember him as the man who made diva Barbra Streisand cry on camera. In almost 40 years on "60 Minutes," the ground-breaking investigative journalism program, he worked on some 800 reports, won 20 Emmys, and won the respect of many viewers with his bold interview style.

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Veteran journalist Mike Wallace dead at 93

Sunday, April 08, 2012 - 01:55