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Memorable moments in Mike Wallace's career

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, April 8 2012 1:40 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 1984 file photo, CBS-TV Correspondent Mike Wallace, right, and producer George Crile, left, leave U.S. District Court in New York, after attending the trial of a libel suit brought by former Gen. William C. Westmoreland against CBS -TV. Wallace, the dogged, merciless reporter and interviewer who took on politicians, celebrities and other public figures in a 60-year career highlighted by the on-air confrontations that helped make "60 Minutes" the most successful primetime television news program ever, has died. He was 93.

Mario Suriani, File, Associated Press

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Some of the many memorable moments in Mike Wallace's career at "60 Minutes":

— Asking Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 his reaction to being called "a lunatic" by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

— Challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2005: "This isn't a real democracy, come on!"

— When late-night TV host Johnny Carson expressed sympathy for a newsmaker who was an alcoholic, Wallace asked: "It takes one to know one?"

— Airing a videotape in 1998 showing assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian injecting a terminally ill patient with lethal drugs.

— Becoming the subject of a movie, "The Insider," after CBS cut an interview with tobacco company whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand from a 1995 story for fear of being sued. Months later, Wigand's interview was aired.

— Being sued by Vietnam-era Gen. William Westmoreland for libel after a 1982 documentary that alleged the general misled the American people. The lawsuit was withdrawn, but plunged Wallace into depression.

— Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad turned the tables on Wallace in a 2006 interview. "I hear this is your last interview," the president said. Replied Wallace: "What do you think? Is it a good idea to retire?" (

— Questions Barbra Streisand's many years of psychoanalysis: "What is she trying to find out that takes 20 years?"

— Almost anytime Wallace prefaced a query with, "Forgive me, but...," that's when you knew to expect a sharp shot to the gut.

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