CBS announced the death of Mike Wallace, the famous 60 Minutes correspondant, on Sunday morning. Wallace was one of the original 60 Minutes correspondants when the show began, and spent decades working for the news magazine. His last interview was in 2008 with baseball star Roger Clemens. He left the program in 2006, returning occasionally over the following two years to interview high-profile, controversial guests. CBS will air a special program during 60 Minutes on April 15 dedicated to Wallace. He had been ill for some time.
Morley Safer wrote a piece about his friend, remembering him as the respected and feared journalist he was, and provides a short list of some of Wallace's biggest moments. Wallace was 93, and gave his last interview four years before he died. Wallace never saw retirement as an option:
There are those who think that, thanks to his wife Mary, Mike mellowed a bit in recent years. But as the specter of retirement bore down, Mike fought it with customary defiance.
When asked whether it was time for him to "pack it in" and reflect, he replied, "Reflect about what? Give me a break. Reflect. What am I going to reflect about?"
CBS declared him "correspondent emeritus" when he stopped producing regular work in 2006. Wallace said in interviews that he wants his epitaph to read "Tough but fair."
(h/t to Gawker for the essay by Safer)