Birth Date: May 19, 1918 / Age: 97
Birth Place: Brookline, Massachusetts
Biography: Mike Wallace (born May 9, 1918 as Myron Leon Wallace) is an American journalist with a long-running career. He is most well-known to modern audiences as a television correspondent for CBS's 60 Minutes. He has been with that program since it first aired in 1968. He has also hosted a number of other talk shows including Night Beat and The Mike Wallace Interview. During his career at 60 Minutes he has interviewed a wide range of newsmakers including Johnny Carson, Deng Xiaoping, Ayatollah Khomeini, Kurt Waldheim, Yasir Arafat, Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, and Manuel Noriega.
Wallace was born in Brookline, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1939 with a B.A. degree. He has been married multiple times and had two sons. His oldest son died in a mountain climbing accident in 1961. Chris Wallace, his second son, is also a newscaster.
In 1982, Wallace interviewed General William Westmoreland for the CBS special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception. Westmoreland sued Wallace and CBS for libel. In February 1985, while the case was still in court, CBS settled with Westmoreland after their internal investigation determined that the producers of the show had not used the proper standards of fairness.
Wallace has been criticized for his tactics, which include conducting interviews under deceptive or "ambush" circumstances in order to embarrass his quarry. Jailed former Panamanian president Manuel Noriega calls Wallace "the epitome of sabotage journalism."
Wallace was played by actor Christopher Plummer in the 1999 feature film, The Insider. The screenplay was based on the Vanity Fair article "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by Marie Brenner and accused Wallace of capitulating to corporate pressure to kill a story by 60 Minutes about Jeffrey Wigand, a whistle-blower trying to expose the activity of "big tobacco".
Mike Wallace in 2004 made headlines in a dispute with New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission inspectors. When he found the two inspectors interviewing his driver, who they alleged was double parked, Wallace got into a confrontation with the inspectors. He was arrested after he apparently lunged at one of the inspectors. He was released after receiving a court summons to answer charges for disorderly conduct. A restaurant manager who witnessed the scene said the officers "manhandled" Wallace. City officials plan to investigate this arrest.
In recent years, Wallace has gone public with his long-standing battle against depression testifying in Senate hearings on the topic as well as being interviewed on the illness on Larry King Live and for various documentaries.