Mike Wallace dies at age 93
NEW YORK (AP) - CBS newsman Mike Wallace, the dogged, merciless reporter and interviewer who took on politicians, celebrities and other public figures in a 60-year career highlighted by the on-air confrontations that helped make "60 Minutes" the most successful primetime television news program ever, has died. He was 93.
Wallace died Saturday night, CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco said. Until he was slowed by heart surgery as he neared his 90th birthday in 2008, Wallace continued making news, doing "60 Minutes" interviews with such subjects as Jack Kevorkian and Roger Clemens.
He had promised to still do occasional reports when he announced his retirement as a regular correspondent in March 2006.
Wallace said then that he had long vowed to retire "when my toes turn up" and "they're just beginning to curl a trifle. ... It's become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren't quite what they used to be."
Among his later contributions, after bowing out as a regular, was a May 2007 profile of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and an interview with Kevorkian, the assisted suicide doctor released from prison in June 2007 who died June 3, 2011, at age 83.
Wallace was born Myron Wallace on May 9, 1918, in Brookline, Mass. He began his news career in Chicago in the 1940s, first as radio news writer for the Chicago Sun and then as reporter for WMAQ.
He started at CBS in 1951. He was married four times. In 1986, he wed Mary Yates Wallace, the widow of his close friend and colleague, Ted Yates, who had died in 1967.
Besides his wife, Wallace is survived by his son, journalist Chris Wallace, a stepdaughter, Pauline Dora, and stepson Eames Yates.
In December 2007, Wallace landed the first interview with Clemens after the star pitcher was implicated in the Mitchell report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball.
The interview, in which Clemens maintained his innocence, was broadcast in early January 2008. Wallace was the first man hired when late CBS news producer Don Hewitt put together the staff of "60 Minutes" at its inception in 1968.
The show wasn't a hit at first, but it worked its way up to the top 10 in the 1977-78 season and remained there, season after season, with Wallace as one of its mainstays. Among other things, it proved there could be big profits in TV journalism.
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