Andy Rooney’s angel wing brows have some company in heaven, because Mike Wallace, one of the original correspondents on 60 Minutes, passed away at Waveny Care Center in Connecticut last night while surrounded by his family. Bob Schieffer said on Face the Nation this morning that Mike died after battling a long illness . Mike was 93.
Mike was with 60 Minutes for nearly 40 years before sort of retiring in 2006. The last interview Mike gave was with Roger Clemens in 2008. Morley Safer remembered Mike Wallace in a piece that went up on CBS’ site this morning. Here’s a tiny part of it:
For half a century, he took on corrupt politicians, scam artists and bureaucratic bumblers. His visits were preceded by the four dreaded words: Mike Wallace is here.
Wallace took to heart the old reporter’s pledge to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. He characterized himself as “nosy and insistent.”
So insistent, there were very few 20th century icons who didn’t submit to a Mike Wallace interview. He lectured Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, on corruption. He lectured Yassir Arafat on violence.
He asked the Ayatollah Khoumeini if he were crazy.
He traveled with Martin Luther King (whom Wallace called his hero). He grappled with Louis Farrakhan.
And he interviewed Malcolm X shortly before his assassination.
In other words, Mike Wallace was not the one and here’s my favorite evidence of that:
Rest in peace, Mike Wallace.