Sad News About Mike Wallace

Mediabistro is reporting on Chris Wallace’s Playboy interview. Part of what he said about his father, Mike Wallace, was very sad.

Mediabistro is reporting on Chris Wallace’s Playboy interview. Part of what he said about his father, Mike Wallace, was very sad.

He’s in a facility in Connecticut. Physically, he’s okay. Mentally, he’s not. He still recognizes me and knows who I am, but he’s uneven. The interesting thing is, he never mentions 60 Minutes. It’s as if it didn’t exist. It’s as if that part of his memory is completely gone. The only thing he really talks about is family— me, my kids, my grandkids, his great-grandchildren. There’s a lesson there. This is a man who had a fabulous career and for whom work always came first. Now he can’t even remember it.

I can’t think of anyone who’s been on TV longer and with more impact. He was on when I was a little kid hosting PM East in a darkened studio as cigarette smoke wafted toward the rafters.

I have great respect for Mike Wallace. He was a relentless reporter. He was a hard ass advocate for his stories. There is iconic footage of Wallace fighting with 60 Minutes EP Don Hewitt that still serves as an inspiration to anyone who works in news.

It’s too early to eulogize Mike Wallace. It’s still tough to hear.

11 thoughts on “Sad News About Mike Wallace”

  1. Injuries of the brain (trauma-induced or medical illness-induced) are sad to see. I’ve witnessed this with loved ones too many times. Hopefully the facility has well-trained staff to help mitigate his fear as time goes on.

  2. Very sad to hear about Mike Wallace….he is one of the last really great, honest reporters…thanks for sharing this Geoff.

  3. Yes, that is sad. He was/is truly an icon in the world of broadcasting: honest, trustworthy, hard hitting and truth seeking. It’s so hard to watch someone you love deteriorate. I am going through this with my Dad.

  4. I didn’t even know Mike Wallace was having these health problems…wasn’t it he who advocated for treatment of depression?

  5. That’s too bad. I grew up watching 60 Minutes and always enjoyed watching him. I always considered him an icon of the news industry, along with Andy Rooney, Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite. Then again old age catches up with all of us eventually.

  6. What remains after so many things are lost…. is love. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about? I have enormous respect for Mike Wallace’s career achievements. The history books will chronicle his incredible achievents…. but in an odd way…. I think it is very “human” that he is mind is closing out his life in a way that emphasizes his ties with his family. Those are the memories that last the longest.

    As my mother-in-law, who has moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, said last month, and not in a complaining way, “You know, I don’t really know anything anymore.” I told her that it’s okay. “We love you and God loves you.”

    Those are my thoughts, anyway.

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