Former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee Dies at 93

woo1-004Former editor of The Washington Post Ben Bradlee died today of natural causes at the age of 93 at his home in Washington. Bradley served as executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 – 91, a time that included the resignation of President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.

His wife and Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn discussed her husband’s declining health due to Alzheimer’s and dementia last month during an interview with C-SPAN. Just prior, he began hospice treatment.

The White House Tuesday night issued a statement from President Barack Obama on Bradlee’s passing:

“For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession – it was a public good vital to our democracy.  A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country’s finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told – stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better.  The standard he set – a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting – encouraged so many others to enter the profession.  And that standard is why, last year, I was proud to honor Ben with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Today, we offer our thoughts and prayers to Ben’s family, and all who were fortunate to share in what truly was a good life.”

Former Washington Post managing editor Robert G. Kaiser penned the outlet’s obituary, a 7,000+ word account of Bradlee’s life at The Post and beyond.

The Washington Post also issued statements from publisher Frederick Ryan, Jr., executive editor Martin Baron, and Donald Graham, CEO of Graham Holdings Company. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein jointly offered:

“Ben was a true friend and genius leader in journalism. He forever altered our business. 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.”

Bradlee is succeeded by his wife, four children, 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.