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Three Rivers Lecture Series

Photo_of_Ben_Bradlee. *

Ben Bradlee

October 30, 1995
I used to love the newspaper business because if you had an idea,
you could get it into the paper immediately, in a matter of hours.
Now you have to watch out and worry about who you are offending
and blah blah blah.--Ben Bradlee

Colorful, charismatic and courageous, Benjamin C. Bradlee may be the most influential newspaper editor of our time. Now vice president at-large of the Washington Post, Bradlee served as its managing editor and then executive editor for more than a quarter of a century. During his turbulent tenure, the Post not only reported the news,it was the news.

In 1971, Bradlee risked legal censure by the Nixon administration to publish the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the Vietnam war. But it was the newspaper's subsequent historic investigation of the Watergate scandal by reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that tested the editor's journalistic judgment. As one of his reporters wrote, "(Bradlee) set a tone of aggressive reporting, journalistic initiative and independence from the Washington establishment."

Under his stewardship, the Post emerged as a leading daily with a national voice and 23 Pulitzer Prizes. Bradlee is also the author of two books on John F. Kennedy--That Special Grace and Conversations with Kennedy.

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