Ben Bradlee, the longtime Washington Post editor who presided over the paper’s exposure of the Watergate scandal, died on Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Washington. He was 93.
In 1965, Bradlee joined The Washington Post as deputy managing editor. Three months later, he was named managing editor, and three years later, executive editor, a position he would hold until 1991. During his tenure, the newspaper won 18 Pulitzer Prizes, including the Public Service award for the Watergate coverage.
He oversaw the coverage from young reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward as they followed the story of the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex. The reporting, which uncovered illegal wiretapping, espionage, sabotage and secret funds, led to the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974.
Bradlee also made the decision with publisher Katharine Graham to print excerpts in 1971 from the Pentagon Papers, the secret Pentagon history of the Vietnam War that the Nixon Administration tried — and failed — to keep out of the pages of The Post and the New York Times.
He was immortalized in Jason Robards Jr.’s Oscar-winning portrayal of him in the 1976 Watergate film, All the President’s Men.