NEW YORK (PIX11)—To those he interviewed, Mike Wallace was sharp-tongued, but he was equally sharp witted the way I got to know him after he became a member of the Friars Club, where we became friends.
He was a compelling story-teller, who loved to share some of the timeless moments he had covered and at times injected some of the humor he hadn't shown on camera, and he could stand up with the best of the comedians, including the late Alan King, with some of his tales. He was charismatic as he was tenacious.
Though he rose to international fame, and won 21 Emmy Awards and five Peabodys, he never forgot where he began, in local news. When the Friars Club presented him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, he said, "The best thing any aspiring journalist could do is to work in local news."
Mike Wallace was one of the last of a long line of tough old-school journalists. He didn't simply ask questions, but he asked the questions to which viewers wanted answers. He taught us a lot and he leaves a rich legacy.