Ben Bradlee, who led The Washington Post newsroom for 26 years and “guided The Post’s transformation into one of the world’s leading newspapers,” died yesterday at his home of natural causes at age 93.
Mr. Bradlee’s patrician good looks, gravelly voice, profane vocabulary and zest for journalism and for life all contributed to the charismatic personality that dominated and shaped The Post.
The most compelling story of Mr. Bradlee’s tenure was Watergate, a political scandal touched off by The Post’s reporting that ended in the only resignation of a president in U.S. history (Richard Nixon).
In 1972, Bradlee backed reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they probed the break-in at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. According to Bradlee in a video interview:
President Obama in a statement said in part, “For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession — it was a public good vital to our democracy. A true newspaperman, he published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told. The standard he set — a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting — encouraged so many others to enter the profession.”
(READ the full tribute in the Washington Post)
Photo by Miguel Ariel Contreras Drake-McLaughlin (CC license)