The Washington Post reports that its former legendary editor, Ben Bradlee, is dead at age 93. Bradlee led the newsroom during its coverage of the Watergate scandal that culminated in the resignation of Richard Nixon. But the Post itself thinks his "most important decision," made in consultation with publisher Katharine Graham, was to go ahead with stories based on the Pentagon Papers, a once-secretive Pentagon history of the Vietnam War. In a seminal case on press freedom, the Supreme Court ultimately let the Post and the New York Times go ahead with their articles on the subject.
“He was a presence, a force,” Watergate reporter Bob Woodward recalled of Bradlee’s role in the coverage that brought down Nixon. “And he was a doubter, a skeptic—‘Do we have it yet?’ ‘Have we proved it?'" Frequently, said Woodward, Bradlee's assessment would be, "You don't have it yet, kid." ABC News notes that Bradlee himself became a household name because of the 1976 movie All the President's Men. Jason Robards played him in the movie.