His prosecutorial style was admired, imitated, condemned and lampooned. His weapons were many: thorough research, a cocked eyebrow, a skeptical "Come on" and a question so direct sometimes it took your breath away.
He was Mike Wallace, the former "60 Minutes" correspondent who died Sunday at 93.
His reputation preceded him: "The four most dreaded words in the English language: Mike Wallace is here," as the saying goes.
"He loved being Mike Wallace," said Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and Wallace's long-time producer. "He loved the fact that if he showed up for an interview, it made people nervous. ... He knew, and he knew that everybody else knew, that he was going to get to the truth. And that's what motivated him."
Here's a gallery of Mike Wallace photos spanning a half century.