"60 Minutes" paid tribute to Mike Wallace with an hour-long retrospective on the broadcasting legend on Sunday.
Wallace, the iconic journalist credited with pioneering the newsmagazine format, passed away last Saturday. At the time, CBS News chief Jeff Fager said that the network would wait a week to air the tribute, instead of rushing it.
On Sunday, Steve Kroft, Scott Pelley and Leslie Stahl each did a segment reflecting on Wallace's life. They looked back at deeply personal interviews with their long-time colleague, as well as his famous exchanges with Ayatollah Khomeini, Johnny Carson, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Mel Brooks and Vladimir Putin.
Kroft opened the special, calling Wallace the "most public face" of the newsmagazine program during his four decade long career. "He was one of the true giants of television," Kroft said of the correspondent. "His reporting style and interviewing technique influenced generations of journalists, and set the style and tone of this program."
Scott Pelley said that Wallace "was in fact the heart and soul of this broadcast," and that his interviews were "like no others." Leslie Stahl remembed Wallace's famous show biz interviews, including his legendary chat with Barbra Streisand, his confrontation with Johnny Carson about drinking and his favorite interview with pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
Morley Safer reflected on a very intimate conversation in which Wallace publicly admitted that he had once attempted suicide.
"Since I've known him, shared a great deal with him, and even fought with him longer than anybody else still around '60 Minutes,' it falls to me to do a little armchair analysis," Safer said on Sunday. He said that Wallace was "a restless man always chasing the next story."
The full "60 Minutes" special is online.