Mike Wallace CBS/60 Minutes Papers

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Mike Wallace CBS/60 Minutes papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Mike Wallace CBS/60 Minutes papers collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Papers of Mike Wallace (1918-2012), broadcast journalist; CBS News correspondent; co-founder and correspondent on CBS

Mike Wallace was born Myron Leon Wallace on May 9, 1918 in Brookline, Massachusetts to Russian Jewish immigrants family. He graduated from Brookline High School in 1935 then attended the University of Michigan where he had opportunity to work as an announcer at the University's radio division. After graduating in 1939 with a BA degree, Wallace began his broadcasting career first at Grand Rapids, Mich. WOOD-WASH radio station, and then at Detroit's WXYZ, where his work included newscasting as well as narration on The Green Hornet.

In 1941 Wallace was hired by the Chicago Sun's radio station as a newscaster, but soon wartime service as a naval communications officer interrupted his career. After the war, he went to work as a news reporter for radio station WMAQ Chicago. He first joined CBS in 1951 then left the network in 1955 to pursue other opportunities. He worked steadily with numerous television credits including Night Beat (1956-57) and The Mike Wallace Interview (1957-60) and the Peabody Award-winning public affairs series Biography (1959-61). He returned to CBS in 1963 where he became a staff correspondent (1963-2006) and anchored The CBS Morning News (1963-66). At CBS Wallace was political correspondent and a floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1968 CBS News executive producer Don Hewitt, with co-editors Mike Wallace and Harry Reasoner, launched 60 Minutes. Premiering on September 24, the program was a weekly newsmagazine that revolutionized television news programming. In at the beginning, Wallace continued to work on the program until his retirement in 2006.

Throughout his career, Wallace has been the recipient of numerous broadcasting awards and honors. In 1996 he won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award grand prize and television first prize for a CBS Reports broadcast "In the Killing Fields of America" (January 1995), a three-hour report he co-anchored on violence in America. His other professional honors include 21 Emmy Awards, five Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, five George Foster Peabody Awards, a Robert E. Sherwood Award, a Paul White Award (1991), a Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Southern California School of Journalism and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the international broadcast category.

Wallace was elected a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi (November 1975) and was awarded a doctorate in humane letters, honoris causa, from the University of Massachusetts (1978). In May 1987 he received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Michigan and, in 1989 an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Pennsylvania.

In June of 1991 he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In 1993 he was named the Broadcaster of the Year by the International Radio and Television Society. Part of his rich legacy includes the Knight-Wallace Fellowship and Mike and Mary Wallace House at the University of Michigan. Wallace's donations support this in-residence study program begun in 1994 for professional journalists seeking to improve their knowledge in a desired field or issue.

Wallace was a popular speaker on the lecture circuit and author of several books. His book Mike Wallace Asks, a compilation of interviews from "Night Beat" and "The Mike Wallace Interview," was published in 1958 and his memoir Close Encounter, co-authored with Gary Paul Gates, was published in September 1984. In 2002 his book Medal of Honor: Profiles of America's Military Heroes from the Civil War to the Present co-authored with Allen Mikaelian, was published.

Mike Wallace died at his home in Canaan, CT on April 7, 2012 at age 93.

Please note:

Copyright has not been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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