Colleagues, friends gather to honor Mike Wallace
In this image released by CBS, Morley Safer, Co-Editor, "60 Minutes" speaks at the CBS News memorial service for Mike Wallace at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Wallace died at age 93 on April 7. (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo)
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Wallace turned and blew a kiss to a giant portrait of his father, "60 Minutes" journalist Mike Wallace, after memorializing him Tuesday as "the best journalist I have ever known."
The Fox News anchor also told of when his father tried to steal an interview from him and, when his infuriated son called to confront him, paused when told he had to choose between Chris Wallace and Chris Rock. Mike Wallace didn't take the interview, but handed if off to Ed Bradley of "60 Minutes" instead.
Former colleagues, friends and family members swapped stories about Wallace in an auditorium a few blocks from where he worked, before an audience that included GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Donald Trump and journalism luminaries like Roger Ailes and Carl Bernstein. The public face of TV's most enduring newsmagazine for nearly four decades, Mike Wallace died at age 93 on April 7.
In this image released by CBS, Steve Kroft, Co-Editor, "60 Minutes" speaks at the CBS News memorial service for Mike Wallace at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Wallace died at age 93 on April 7. (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo)
Some of the stories were flattering, some less so. And despite the somber purpose of remembering the recently deceased, some were hilarious.
"Let's be honest, at some point in time not just Morley (Safer), not just Ed (Bradley), many people in this room were not speaking to my father," Chris Wallace said.
After years of a tense relationship, caused in part by Chris trying to escape his father's giant shadow, his son recalled how Mike called him every day to see how he was doing when Chris was going through a divorce. "That's how we became father and son," he said.
As dementia began stripping away his intellect in his final years, "what remained of Mike Wallace was a sweet and gentle man," he said.