Wednesday, March 15, 2006
'You look like a kid'
Hearing that Mike Wallace is going to be stepping back from his work at "60 Minutes" was surprising to me. It's not that he doesn't deserve a little let up in his schedule. He has certainly earned as much time off as he wants. It's just that for as long as I can remember I've spent Sunday nights with him. Not literally, of course.

To me, "60 Minutes" is still the best news magazine program on broadcast television. It's the only show I rush home to see, even when I know my TiVo is going to record it anyway. It's the only show I listen to on the radio, if I am in a car when it's on.

It's only recently that I've come to know Mike and his amazing wife Mary personally. I flew down to Florida this weekend to attend a dinner with them for a charity they support. I actually got to sit between Mike and Mary, and it was such an incredible treat.

"You look like a kid," was the first thing Mike said to me when I saw him Saturday evening.

"That's because he is a kid compared to you," Mary quickly chimed in.

When Mike told me he was going to be 88 years old this year, I did a double take. I couldn't believe it. He looks amazing, and has far more energy than I do.

I've been reporting now for 15 years, and there are days I wonder how long I can keep this pace up. News is a tough business. It's hard on your family. It's hard on your brain. It's hard on your body. But Mike Wallace has been at the top of his game for decades, longer than I have been alive. If I could have half the career Mike Wallace has had, and will continue to have, I would consider myself a very lucky man indeed.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 5:15 PM ET
  53 Comments
Yeah, a kid with grey hair!
Posted By Anonymous Andrew, New Orleans LA : 5:41 PM ET
It is sad that he's retiring, but necessary at his age. My grandfather is on 60 min (not telling, haha) but his name is similar to Mickey Rooney...anway, I met Mike a few times and he's a great guy in addition to being a top shelf journalist. I wish him luck.
Posted By Anonymous alexis, wash dc : 5:45 PM ET
Anderson,

I know. I was shocked too that Mike Wallace was 88. He seems so much younger. He's had a very celebrated career. I love 60 Minutes also. Like you said we'll still see him a bit now and then. I'm glad he and Mary can spend more time together. But with the special way you have of the way you treat people and the fact that you always take the high road...you've already begun on a very awesome career journey.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa V, Des Plaines, IL : 5:49 PM ET
Wallace feisty true
Westmoreland case v. free press
With grace onward! Thanks
Posted By Anonymous H, Brooklyn, NY : 5:50 PM ET
What a nice tribute, Anderson! You are well on your way to joining that club of hard-working, dedicated, trail-blazing journalists!
Posted By Anonymous Samuel, West Hollywood, CA : 5:52 PM ET
Hey Anderson,
I used to avoid news show until I caught yours when it was at 0700. Since then, I tune in every night, you have such a love and enthusiasm for what you do, you give every news story an interesting perspective. The world we live in is very depressing, how can such evil and misery exist. It's refreshing to see someone who,with the exposure to the world's atrocities that you've had, can still be impressed and surprised by other's news stories. Like Mike Wallace, you are well on your way to being one of this era's greatest newsman.
Posted By Anonymous Lyn, Ottawa, Canada : 5:54 PM ET
Anderson,
I'm pretty shocked that Mike Wallace is 88 too. I saw you at Kent State Stark, and I think you have the energy to hack it until at least 65!:)
Posted By Anonymous Laura, Macedonia, OH : 5:55 PM ET
I saw the replay on 360 last night of the interview you did with Mike and Mary last year. It was very surprising to me that he did not recognize his own symptoms of depression even after doing stories about the condition. Maybe he has detached himself, to a certain extent, from his stories so that he won't be too attached to or wrapped up in them. Maybe that is what has kept him going for so long. I know it must be difficult to separate oneself from some stories. You have been so involved with Hurricane Katrina and all of us affected, so I know you can't be totally unaffected. I guess Mike has had to be very stoic for his career. He looks amazing. 60 Minutes is great; I also look forward to Sundays at 6. I look forward to weeknights at 9 central on CNN too!
Posted By Anonymous Paige B, Austin, TX : 5:56 PM ET
The key to life is to keep evolving into who you are. Find something (career) that speaks to your soul, fuels your passion, and go/grow with it. It makes the whole journey worthwhile.

I think Shakespeare said it best "this above all ... to thine own self be true."
Posted By Anonymous Diana, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 5:58 PM ET
I, like you have grown up with Mike Wallace aand 60 Minutes.(By the way, it's the only program on TV that has no theme music)I also watched Biography and The 20th Century. His hard hitting no-nonsense approach to his interviews made me be able to ask the hard questions when they needed to be asked.

The fact that there are so very few journalists that emulate him, to me is America's greatest loss.

Although I must say Mr Cooper, you and Lou Dobbs suuure gots lotsa potential!
Posted By Anonymous Milton Sierra - Ft Myers, FL : 5:59 PM ET
For someone who's young like me, Mike Wallace is one of those few people who seem like they've always been around, and who I've always known the face of. I'm sad that I won't be able to see him on as often, but hey, he's turning 88! He's done quite enough, and deserves to do whatever he wants.
Posted By Anonymous Molly, Coleville, CA : 6:04 PM ET
Mike Wallace is the best,and he certainly looks wonderful for his age. Which brings me to the oft used descriptor:" his/her age" moves up and down the scale according to one's convenience. You, Anderson, are Middle Aged. Yep! And I've got one foot in the grave. But I,and the rest of America, will continue to fight the laws of life, especially the one that deals with gravity. I recently bought a miracle serum guaranteed to aid all the other junk I put on my face. When I signed my bill and discovered that little bottle had cost me 6oo bucks, I must tell the truth. I kept it. After all signing my AmEx had just aged me ten more years!
Posted By Anonymous Rosie M.; Laredo, TX : 6:04 PM ET
I too love 60 minutes and try to watch it every Sunday night, except during football season when it was pre-empted. I learned a lot from the show and it's going to be so different without Mr Wallace. He really knows how to ask the tough questions but not in an annoying, sarcastic way some reporters do. It just won't be the same without him.

And in 30 years we will still be seeing you Anderson because you are a good reporter, who does not let go of a story you really believe in. You have kept the Katrina/FEMA issues out there when no one else seemed to care.
Keep up the good work.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia Warren MI : 6:05 PM ET
That is fascinating, Anderson. It is my ambition to become a reporter and I find it unbelievable howan 88 year-old man is still so in shape after years of reporting. And, yes, you do look really young despite the fact your hair is "salt & pepper." I hope you'll be like him.
Posted By Anonymous Vicki (Livingston, NJ) : 6:17 PM ET
Anderson, your career will be great, you are the best in the business. We all love you and 360.Keep up the good work and you will around for a long time. And maybe your fan,s will let you slow down when you turn 88.
Posted By Anonymous Sandy Belvin Richmond,Va : 6:17 PM ET
Anderson,
I also think, Mike Wallace IS the standard when it comes to news broadcasting,
but it's so nice to hear that despite your success, you are still humbled by his presence.
Posted By Anonymous Yvette, La Jolla, CA : 6:19 PM ET
What a great tribute to a great man, Mike Wallace. But I do believe you're at least halfway there with your career already, since it's YOUR program that I TiVo and rush home to see. Appreciate the fact that you are having the same impact on others that great men have had on you. Thanks again for your remarkable reporting.
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Raleigh, NC : 6:21 PM ET
He's one of my all time favorites. Can't believe he's 88. He deserves dome down time.
Posted By Anonymous Alice Jennings, AZ : 6:22 PM ET
Mike Wallace must have "followed his bliss" all these years as a reporter and if you really love what you do, that's what gives you the stamina to keep on going. We need great journalists to continue in the remarkable footsteps of Mike Wallace, so don't give up just yet Anderson!
Posted By Anonymous Fay, Vacaville, CA : 6:27 PM ET
i love 60 mins!! and will miss mike very much . it was like listening to your grandpa tell you a story
Posted By Anonymous jackie,lucedale ms : 6:32 PM ET
60 Minutes was the best news magazine because it stayed smart and politically incorrect for so long. And when was the last time another news magazine covered art? 60 Minutes also admirably resisted the family health tragedy of the week pattern Dateline so perfected. It's so rare when news programming is created with intelligent adults in mind rather than the lowest common denominator. I hope that major media will find a way to keep doing non-headline stories with flair. Blogs are a poor substitute for 60 Minutes.
Posted By Anonymous Ford Vox, Birmingham AL : 6:40 PM ET
Mr.Wallace is a true American Treasure.
His relentless pursuit of the truth and hardball questions will be missed in this era tabloid jounalism and popcorn news entertainment!
Posted By Anonymous J. Perazzo East Bruswick, NJ : 6:42 PM ET
Mike Wallace has had an amazing career, indeed. I have to admit though that I have not watched network news in years. I can't imagine the life of a newsman. I marvel at the fact that you are never in one spot for longer than a millisecond! Can't imagine how you keep up that sort of pace at 88yrs old. God Bless Him!
Posted By Anonymous Sheryn R, Pohatcong, NJ : 6:53 PM ET
Hey Anderson -

You're really giving Waldo a run for his money! First Atlanta then Mississippi, New Orleans, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D. C. and Florida - it's not Where's Waldo anymore - now it's Where's Anderson. Who knows just where you will show up next - now all you need is one of those red and white hats. (Smile) Thank you for going the extra mile (or two or three) for us! Stay safe in your travels.

It is hard when you see someone so often to think that they aren't going to be there anymore. Mike Wallace is such an amazing reporter, and I know the wonderful example that he has set will live on in many people like you for years and years to come! I tremendously respect what he has accomplished both personally and professionally. I hope he is truly happy no matter what he decides to do with his life. I am glad that you had such a wonderful experience this weekend!
Posted By Anonymous Victoria Pittsburgh, PA : 7:00 PM ET
Great blog post, Anderson. I've been a fan of 60 Minutes for a long time. I have always enjoyed Mr. Wallace's interviews, and feel like there are certain people in journalism whose work has come to define the profession itself. If Mike Wallace is one of your heroes, you have a great future ahead of you, and we will all benefit from your hard work, as we have with Mr. Wallace.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Casey, Tulsa, Oklahoma : 7:00 PM ET
Hey Anderson, maybe you could change the name of your show to"120 Minutes." Actually, that doesn't sound as provocative as "A.C.360". Mike Wallace is a great reporter and it was also good of him to share his personal story about his struggle with depression a few years back, which isn't easy for people of that generation. Hopefully, you'll be around that long, too. Also, what's always good for a compliment... do what my grandmother did and add 10-15 years to your age and people will say, " Get out, you're a hundred? You don't look any older than your eighties."
Posted By Anonymous Carol B. Frederick, MD : 7:06 PM ET
Mike Wallace was the example and standard that I have held other reporters to all my life.I too have grown up watching him.His professionalism was unmatched.Not a person to be easily replaced.Thanks for the memories.
Posted By Anonymous Bob Smith,Dover, De : 7:40 PM ET
I agree, 60 minutes is the only News show that i watch, it would be odd to think of it with out Mike Wallace
Posted By Anonymous Mike / Kennewick / WA : 7:47 PM ET
Thank you for the wonderful tribute to Mike Wallace. He is an amazing person to have accomplished so much in his life & career. I appreciate the respect that you convey in your tribute & in the interview.
Your career is only beginning compared to his, you newbie! :)
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly, Edmonton, AB Canada : 8:08 PM ET
I was always impressed by Mr. Wallace's courage. He seemed to let nothing stand in his way as he pursued the truth (probably the same reasons why I like you Anderson).
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Concord, CA : 8:08 PM ET
Mike Wallace's outstanding career is very inspirational. He does not look his age 88. YOu are very fortunate to have his presence and yes very deserving to have interviwed him. Your reporting is truly unique. You can ask a very difficult question making it sound really simple, and when you get the answer to it seems that the question you asked was not not really so simple and it was really the gist of the story. You are making a difference
My Best wishes to you and your career.
Posted By Anonymous Sunila, Fremont CA : 8:19 PM ET
Anderson,
I grew up watching Mike Wallace. It was a Sunday night ritual in my house. My parents and I would eat dinner then gather around the television for 60 minutes. I wished my parents which are both gone now would have lived to see your reporting. I know my mother would have looked at you and said Bless His Heart. I miss her. She will be gone 2 years April 6. You are the future of CNN. I believe you will be around for many years to come. Do not change your ways for no one.
Posted By Anonymous Terrie Ford Colonial Heights, VA : 8:20 PM ET
I've often enjoyed Mr. Wallace's show, 60min. But It's time to retire, and have better things to do with the much of time that's left. It's people like Mr. Wallace that aughta be remembered. Saddly, after our generation passes, no one, except his/her immediate own, will even know or care that he existed. Guess the same goes to the rest of us. Reality hurts, but such is life. Well, for the moment, let's applaud him for his good work. Mr. Anderson, I think the torch's been handed over to you. Maybe AC360 will be the next 60min, eh? Whaddaya say?

Moderator: If you're as realistic as most of us, commentators, try to be, then you won't sensor this.
Posted By Anonymous Tim, Columbia, VA : 8:21 PM ET
For selfish reasons I hope I'll still be watching you when you're 88. Maybe by then your're hair will turn dark again like Mike's. ;-)
But then again I love the gray hair, especially the silver eyelashes...
Keep asking the tough questions like Mike...
Posted By Anonymous Annabelle Echo, Chicago IL : 8:34 PM ET
Thanks for sharing this Anderson. Mike is a great journalist and has had a truly remarkable career.I hope he enjoys his new found freedom. Keep up the great work AC.You are well on your way to your own remarkable career. I hope you do stick around for a long time because you make such a positive impact with your reporting.I think you will be able to look back on your career, whenever you choose to end it, and know you made a difference.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Durham NC : 8:42 PM ET
Hey Anderson!
Great story on Mike Wallace. I had to laugh when you said you'd be doing great if you had half the energy he does. I already admire how you can report from multiple cities in a week, do your show, write a book, talk to Oprah, create a CNN Special, etc., etc. What would you do with any more energy?? As always I'll be watching. Take care!
Posted By Anonymous Nickie Fanale, Chicago, IL : 8:50 PM ET
Anderson,

I too am a "60 Minutes" fan. It is great to get a news program, with such wonderful perspective. By the way, 360 is such a program as well! My best to Mike Wallace, may he enjoy some time off.

Anderson - you keep taking your vitamins and keep up the great work!
Posted By Anonymous Liz, Chino Hills, CA : 9:03 PM ET
You are fortunate indeed to have gotten to know him.
What would you say is the best advice he's given you?
Thanks for all the hard work.
Posted By Anonymous Jeana, Los Angeles, CA : 9:04 PM ET
Anderson, he may have said that you looked like a kid, because you got your hair buzzed off instead of getting a hair cut! There is a difference.

60 Minutes has always been a favorite program of mine since I was a kid. It was one of the few programs that my dad and I watched together - so it has lots of memories for me. I still have to watch the program every Sunday night.
Posted By Anonymous Wynona, San Diego, CA : 9:15 PM ET
integrity! That is Mike wallace to me. If there was a mistake on 60 min they would admit it, and they alsways told things as they saw it. Anderson you have his potential remember "integrity" and will carry on the legacy of great reporters as he has. keep up the good work!
Posted By Anonymous Bangkok Thailand David Schreiber : 9:51 PM ET
Hey Anderson,
I grew up watching 60 minutes. It was a Sunday night ritual in our house. It seems now that I'm in my (ahem) mid thirties, all my old familiars are fading away. But the good news is that I have found a new ritual. I look forward (5 nights a week!) to hearing what you, yourself, have dug up to feed my mind. In fact, I'm eagerly waiting right this minute for 360 to begin. Your curiosity and compassion make you a delight. Sometimes I wonder how you keep up the pace. But I hope you continue, as Mr. Wallace has, so that I can look forward to many many more nights with you. Peace be with you.
Posted By Anonymous Jen from Fayetteville West Virginia : 10:06 PM ET
The thing I enjoy about your journalism is that you report the facts with your own emotion and personality without holding a certain bias. That is something I value especially today when so many news programs report half the truth and tell the public what they want to hear. I believe your principles and values with path the way for a long lived and respected career. Thank your for your honesty and integrity.
Posted By Anonymous Rachel, Austin, TX : 10:23 PM ET
Mike Wallace for years has gone against the grain of traditional journalism. It is shocking when a journalist of a new generation engages in 'out of the box' reporting, while Mike has been reporting under this style for years. I believe that the more a journalist searches for the truth, the closer they become to someone like Mike Wallace. I hope he continues with his contributions for many more years to come, if only to remind us that journalism should be so pure and unfiltered.
Posted By Anonymous John Bean, Orlando, Florida : 10:33 PM ET
AC, that was a nice piece last night on Mike Wallace. I can't believe that he is 88. He looks great. We all grew up with 60 Minutes. It is a great show. We appreciate how hard you are working, also. AC360 is a great show. Happy St. Patrick's Day on Friday!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago, Il : 11:51 PM ET
Mike Wallace is a fiesty man even at 88! You too, Coop, are a fiesty man and you will have the stamina of Wallace when you are that age. His career is long from over. He is a legend.
Posted By Anonymous Jamie Trull, Philadelphia PA : 12:08 AM ET
To me Mike Wallace IS 60 minutes. I've been watching the show since the earyl 70's when I was just a kid. Wallace was the full package. He might have the best voice in the biz too ! He deserves to go out on his own terms, which means on top and still relevant. I hope to see him do some occasional specials and possibly some history channel stuff.
Posted By Anonymous Marc W. Staten Island, NY : 12:50 AM ET
Anderson, you're right up there at the top, as far as I'm concerned. You won my heart-so to speak-when I watched you through the Katrina crisis. Your courage and integrety are certainly the best marks for a fine reporter. You tell it like it is, no punches pulled and I seriously respect that. Here's for the next 15!!
Posted By Anonymous Tami Arens, Red Bluff California : 2:31 AM ET
Good riddance Mr. Wallace. It's about time! Semper Fi! The torch is passed to Mr. Anderson Cooper...Best wishes!
Posted By Anonymous Alex Copher, Kathmandu, Nepal : 3:44 AM ET
I've often wondered how journalist are affected about the news they report or how they just keep up. You mentioned how news is a tough business. I'm sure it is, especially when there is more bad news then good news. It's hard just to watch the news every night much less report on it day in and day out. All the bad news can really start bringing you down. So I have much respect for people who keep up with the pace like Anderson and Mike Wallace.
Posted By Anonymous Rochelle, Kansas City, KS : 9:40 AM ET
I have been a 60 Minutes fan for maybe 20 years. Won't be the same without Mike Wallace, but life goes on.

Lou Dobbs is a great reporter, asks the tough questions and demands the answers.

Be happy that you are still young.....and maybe when you get to be Mike Wallace's age, your hair will turn brown.
Posted By Anonymous Missy, Fairfield, CT : 1:40 PM ET
Great that Wallace can keep going as he approaches 90.

Michael Locker MD
Posted By Anonymous Michael Locker MD, Long Grove, IL : 1:44 PM ET
I've never been a big fan of 60 Minutes. I guess because it was the first of many to present news as entertainment. And, at times, it did present a bias. I was always taught that news should inform and educate in an unbiased fashion. Sadly, those days are gone now. Yellow journalism seems to be all too common place today. That's why I like the quote next to your by-line.
Still, it is sad to think of Mike Wallace retiring. But, at his age, I'd say he's definitely earned it.
Posted By Anonymous Phil, Kansas City, MO : 1:51 PM ET
Mike Wallece was one the first journalists to use undercover cameras to bust the bad guys!!!! isn't that so awesome.
i'm gonna miss you dear Mike Wallace...God bless you!!!!
here from a little country your fan
Claudia
Posted By Anonymous Claudia, Guatemala City : 2:40 PM ET
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