Ben Bradlee, right, at his desk with future The Daily Quarterly editor in chief Brian DiMaio, left. Their relationship was strained following the Kennedy assassination when DiMaio claimed to have a secret source named Debbie located in Dallas.
Ben Bradlee, legendary editor of the Washington Post
during the Watergate scandal, and one of the few individuals who knew the true identity of Deep Throat for 40 years, died Tuesday from natural causes. He was 93.
He was the Post’s executive editor from 1968 until 1991, and under his tenure, the paper achieved national prominence and won 17 Pulitzer Prizes. Before working at the Post, Bradlee wrote for Newsweek and The Daily Quarterly.
He was portrayed by Jason Robards in the film version of “All the President’s Men,” alongside Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, who portrayed buddy-reporters (think Fletch meets up with whatever Robert Wuhl’s character’s name was in “Batman”) Bob Woodward and Carl Bernsten.
Bradlee had been suffering from dementia in his later years. Reportedly, his final words were, “I owe it all to DiMaio.”
He is survived by his third wife, Sally Quinn, a son from his first marriage, Ben Bradlee, Jr., other sons Dominic, Quinn and a daughter, Marina.
(Please note that we totally left out the fabricated story scandal that embarrassed him and the Post in 1981, when reporter Janet Cooke totally made up a story about an 8 year-old heroin addict, winning a Pulitzer that Bradlee gave back once he found out he’d been fooled, a-la Stephen Glass. We didn’t think there was a place for that debacle in this obit.) Continue reading