FBI releases files on late "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace / CRAIG BLANKENHORN
The FBI has released its files on the late "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace, detailing their scrutiny of a 1970 trip Wallace took to Cuba. There is also an investigation of a threatening letter sent to Wallace in 1977 by a World War II veteran titled "Communist Control of the Press."
The files were dug up from the bureau's records vault and were requested via the Freedom of Information Act. Read the documents here.
Wallace died on April 7, 2012, at the age of 93 and was widely recognized for his aggressive style in television interviews.
In the summer of 1970, Wallace and the late "60 Minutes" creator Don Hewitt traveled to Cuba. The FBI documents detail the luggage and travel information of the two men, but do not provide much other information. At first mention, the documents misspell Hewitt's name.
Remembering Mike Wallace, 1918-2012
The documents also include a rambling letter sent to Wallace in 1977, in which the sender claims to "have solid proof that you are a pro-communist anti-America traitor."
An FBI investigation into the letter identified the sender as Donald P. Hale, a disabled World War II veteran and former prisoner of war, according to the files. The U.S. Attorney's office decided against prosecuting Hale for extortion, saying it did not appear to have criminal intent and the fact Hale admitted to "emotional problems."
CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco said it was not uncommon in the days of the Cold War for the feds to keep tabs on prominent journalists.
"Mike would surely get a laugh about this but he wouldn't be surprised: a journalist doing his job back then could certainly catch the attention of the FBI," he said.
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