If you’re in Chicago and have the time, head down to The Museum of Broadcast Communications which is holding a day-long Mike Wallace retrospective today, showing some of Wallace’s most important works from “60 Minutes,” “You Are There,” “CBS Reports,” and a little-known early 1960s show Wallace hosted called, “Biography.”
Chicago TV critic Robert Feder writes about Wallace’s connection to Chicago and about that show.
Wallace was at a low point in his career when he hosted Biography, according to television historians Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh. It was between his earlier phase as an actor, announcer, game show host and commercial pitchman, and his later ascendancy as a CBS News correspondent and eventual 60 Minutes icon.
“Wallace had made his name in news as a fire-breathing interviewer in the late 1950s, but was made to tone down his approach by nervous network executives, and eventually forced out of network news work altogether,” Brooks and Marsh wrote. “The considerable success of Biography helped reestablish his name.”
Wallace died Saturday night at age 93.