Ben Bradlee: The 60 Minutes interview

The late Washington Post editor, who led the newspaper's Watergate coverage, told Mike Wallace that President Nixon put him "on the map"

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"You don't edit a powerhouse newspaper like The Washington Post for more than 25 years without making both friends and enemies in high places," Mike Wallace said in his 1995 profile of Post executive editor Ben Bradlee.

Bradlee, who counted U.S. presidents among those friends and enemies, died Tuesday at age 93.

Among Bradlee's most powerful enemies: President Richard Nixon, who resigned his presidency in 1974 when the Post, under Bradlee's leadership, revealed the Watergate coverup.

The Nixon administration's corruption might not have been good for the nation, but it wasn't all bad for the Post, Bradlee told Wallace.

Ben Bradlee on President Nixon's role in Watergate

"I thank Richard Nixon," Bradlee said. "He put me on the map."

When asked if he would consider Nixon a "good" president, despite Watergate, Bradlee responded: "It's like saying except for his face; he's a pretty good-looking fellow. How can you do that?"

It's that wit that producer Bob Anderson remembers about Bradlee.

"Bradlee was a very gracious host, easy to be around, full of charm with a wise twinkle in his eye," Anderson tells 60 Minutes Overtime.

If Watergate made the country less trusting of politicians, the scandal appears to have convinced Bradlee that most of them lie.

"I now do not believe, I just do not believe, the first version of events in this city," Bradlee told Wallace. "People don't tell the truth. They don't tell the truth a hundred different ways," he said, siting examples involving former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

But did Bradlee himself skirt the truth in his autobiography, when he denied knowing whether his friend, President John F. Kennedy, had had extramarital affairs?

"I'm reading your book, I say to myself, 'I think the man's lying,'" Wallace said.

Bradlee's explanation: Whenever he visited President Kennedy, both Bradlee's wife and Jacqueline Kennedy were there as well. "Extracurricular screwing around does not come up in that context," Bradlee said.

Looking back over Bradlee's quarter-century at the Post, from which he retired in 1991, Wallace asked him, "You miss it?" Replied Bradlee: "I miss the stories that take the town by the throat."