Mike Wallace, who spent four decades as a hard-hitting, provocative news correspondent on "60 Minutes," has died, CBS reported Sunday. He was 93.
Wallace died Saturday night "peacefully surrounded by family members at Waveny Care Center in New Caanan, Connecticut, where he spent the past few years," CBS said in a statement.
"For half a century, he took on corrupt politicians, scam artists and bureaucratic bumblers," CBS News said on its website. "... Wallace took to heart the old reporter's pledge to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. He characterized himself as 'nosy and insistent.'"
"It is with tremendous sadness that we mark the passing of Mike Wallace," said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corporation. "His extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster is immeasurable and he has been a force within the television industry throughout its existence. His loss will be felt by all of us at CBS."
"Mike was an unbelievable journalist," said Scott Bronstein, CNN senior investigative producer, who worked with Wallace as a "60 Minutes" staff producer during the late 1990s. "He was inspiring. He made you want to do your best work. He always demanded you to report more and more. He was such a marvel, the way he could do an interview."
Wallace in recent years had suffered from dementia, said Larry King, longtime host of CNN's "Larry King Live."
"They didn't come any better," King said. "He was a glorious human being, a wonderful raconteur, a great journalist, a great host, an interviewer with his own style ... Mike Wallace was a guy, when he's on, you can't hit the clicker."
Wallace was already a veteran of the "CBS Morning News with Mike Wallace" and had covered most of the 1960s' major news stories, including several assignments to Vietnam, when he was hired as a correspondent for the new television show "60 Minutes."
The show debuted in September 1968. During Wallace's four-decade career on "60 Minutes," he "sealed his reputation as a hard-charging, no-holds-barred interviewer," according to the Knight-Wallace Foundation at the University of Michigan, of which Wallace was a supporter.
"His most memorable moments at '60 Minutes' have often been news-making events in their own rights."