The Archive is sad to report that journalist Mike Wallace passed away last night, on April 7, 2012 at the age of 93. Wallace suffered from heart problems in recent years and retired from his long-time role as a regular correspondent on 60 Minutes in 2006. He was producer Don Hewitt’s first hire at 60 Minutes in 1968 and contributed to the program for 40 years, conducting occasional interviews even beyond his retirement.
Here are some text and video selections from his 1998 Archive interview:
On Don Hewitt hiring him on 60 Minutes and developing the show’s format:
On selecting stories for 60 Minutes:
On what makes a great interview:
A great interview comes from a chemistry of confidentiality. If the interviewer can establish that chemistry of confidentiality with the interviewee, if he or she has done sufficient research, and I mean a lot of research which will make the interviewee respect the interviewer … If the interviewer listens and picks up things – if he’s done enough research, he always will pick up because he or she knows what the next question should be. You can get interviews with honey and sometimes with vinegar and there are those who do it both very, very well.
60 Minutes will dedicate a special program to Wallace next Sunday, April 15th.