Forty years after his newspaper’s Watergate investigation brought down the US President, the former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee has been hailed by the current President as a man who “told the stories that needed to be told”.
Bradlee’s death at the age of 93 was announced by the Post on Tuesday. He died at his home in Washington DC of natural causes, after beginning hospice care last month for Alzheimer’s disease.
As the celebrated and driven executive editor of the Post from 1968 to 1991, Bradlee transformed the title into one of the most revered and well-read newspapers in the US. He supported the work of two young reporters that exposed the Watergate affair, won the paper a Pulitzer and brought down the administration of President Richard Nixon in August 1974.
Last year, Barack Obama presented Bradlee with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honour in the US.
The President released a statement reacting to Bradlee’s death last night.
It read: “For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession – it was a public good vital to our democracy.
“A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country’s finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told – stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better.
“The standard he set – a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting – encouraged so many others to enter the profession. And that standard is why, last year, I was proud to honor Ben with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Today, we offer our thoughts and prayers to Ben’s family, and all who were fortunate to share in what truly was a good life.”Reuse content