Colleagues, friends gather to honor Mike Wallace

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Wallace turned and blew a kiss to a giant portrait of his father, “60 Minutes” journalist Mike Wallace, after memorializing him Tuesday as “the best journalist I have ever known.”

The Fox News anchor also told of when his father tried to steal an interview from him and paused when his infuriated son called and said he had to choose between Chris Wallace and Chris Rock.

For nearly two hours, colleagues, friends and family members swapped stories — some flattering, some not so — about one of television news’ best-known journalists. Mike Wallace died at age 93 on April 7. Besides Chris Wallace, two of Mike’s grandchildren, former colleagues Steve Kroft and Morley Safer, and CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager spoke.

“Let’s be honest, at some point in time not just Morley, not just Ed (Bradley), many people in this room were not speaking to my father,” Chris Wallace said.

Despite exasperating moments, he was loved because he was not mean and had a good heart, his son said. As dementia began stripping away his intellect in his final years, “what remained of Mike Wallace was a sweet and gentle man,” he said.

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