NABJ mourns the passing of legendary journalist Benjamin Bradlee. As executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 until 1991, he guided the paper through the era in which the paper developed into an outlet which offered groundbreaking reporting on events of consequence such as the release of the Pentagon Papers and the events surrounding the Watergate scandal.
Under his leadership The Post became the standard bearer for American journalism as news operations across platforms strove to deliver high caliber journalism and adhere to high journalistic standards
He oversaw an expansion of the kinds of coverage his newspaper offered readers which ultimately influenced editors at papers across the country. Internally, Bradlee was best known as a champion of ambitious reporters and stylish writers, who were empowered to produce journalism which drew acclaim.
Bradlee helped transform The Post from a mere local paper into a great national one.
"I remember my shipmates watching the Watergate hearings on the mess deck when I was in the Navy in 1974," said NABJ President Bob Butler.
My condolences go out to the Bradlee family, The Washington Post family and our industry colleagues who too mourn his loss."
Leonard Downie Jr., who succeeded Mr. Bradlee as The Post’s executive editor in 1991, said, “Ben’s influence remained very much alive at The Post long after he retired, distinguishing the newspaper and our newsroom as unique in journalism.”
President Obama saluted Mr. Bradlee’s role at The Post when giving him the country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2013: “He transformed that newspaper into one of the finest in the world.”