Ben Bradlee, the legendary former editor of The Washington Post, died Tuesday at 93, the newspaper reported.
Bradlee was most famous for helming the newspaper when it published its blockbuster scoop on the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
President Obama awarded Bradlee a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. In a statement Tuesday, Obama called Bradlee a “true newspaperman.”
“The standard he set – a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting – encouraged so many others to enter the profession,” Obama continued.
The Post said Bradlee died of natural causes at his Washington home.
“Members of The Post family past and present, and indeed all who pursue excellence in journalism, owe a great debt of gratitude to Ben Bradlee for setting and achieving the highest journalistic standards,” publisher Fred Ryan said in a statement. “Ben has been the heart and soul of The Post newsroom for decades. He brought honor to our publication and to the profession he loved. Our hearts go out to Sally and the Bradlee family at this sad time.”
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the reporting duo who broke the Watergate story when Bradlee was editor of The Post, called their former boss a “true friend and genius leader in journalism.”
“He forever altered our business,” they continued in a joint statement. “His one unbending principle was the quest for the truth and the necessity of that pursuit. He had the courage of an army. Ben had an intuitive understanding of the history of our profession, its formative impact on him and all of us. But he was utterly liberated from that. He was an original who charted his own course. We loved him deeply, and he will never be forgotten or replaced in our lives.”
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