The New York Times reports that Mike Wallace, a journalist known for his long career as a "tough but fair" interviewer on died Sunday. He was 93.
CBS reported that Wallace died in a care facility in Connecticut after a long history of heart problems.
The Times called Wallace "a reporter with the presence of a performer" in their four page obituary. Earning 21 Emmys in his career, Wallace was a fixture on CBS's "60 Minutes" from its debut in 1968 to 2006, although he returned to the program to interview Mahmoud Ahmadinejad months later.
His interviews more resembled interrogations, often saying "forgive me..." before nailing an interview subject. His blunt questions were often more interesting than the answers he received. In an interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin Wallace said "This isn't a real democracy, come on!" and dared to bring up accusations that Ayatollah Khomeini was a "lunatic" in a 1979 interview with the Iranian leader.
"Many people who weathered a Mike Wallace interview grew to respect him greatly and, you know, have great regard for him because I don't recall anybody ever saying to me, 'He took a cheap shot' or 'He did the obvious,' or that he was, you know, playing some kind of game," Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes told the Associated Press. "He actually was trying to serve the audience, and that's what made him great."
Though his hard-boiled, sometimes assulting reporting style came under some heavy criticism, Wallace leaves behind a legacy as a master interviewer and great journalist.