Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham. This Washington Post photo ran on the New Yorker's web page.
Like all journalists of my generation, who came of age in the late '60s and early '70s, I'm sad at Ben Bradlee's death. Even those of us who never worked at the Washington Post felt as if we had.
From Jason Robards Jr.'s movie portrayal in "All the President's Men," to photographs and written accounts and TV appearances at journalism seminars, his personality loomed large. Along with great editors at The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Los Angeles Times, he set the standard that all of us followed on lesser papers that sought to aspire to those heights.
The tributes to him show him as an editor, character and newsroom leader. Let me add thst he was a wonderful writer. His partner-publisher Katharine Graham wrote a well-praised memoir, but for me Bradlee's "A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures" was the best book on the Post, American journalism and politics.
Plus, I loved the derring-do of his close friendship with John F. Kennedy. As the then Washington Bureau chief of Newsweek, Bradlee was criticized for palling around with JFK. For me, the two represented the best of American manhood.