Bradlee, Ben

Bradlee, Ben

(Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee), 1921–2014, American newspaper editor and journalist, b. Boston, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1942. After serving in the navy during World War II, he became a journalist. In 1954 he joined Newsweek as a correspondent, first in Europe and then in Washington, D.C., where he eventually became bureau chief. In Washington he also became friendly with John F. KennedyKennedy, John Fitzgerald,
1917–63, 35th President of the United States (1961–63), b. Brookline, Mass.; son of Joseph P. Kennedy. Early Life

While an undergraduate at Harvard (1936–40) he served briefly in London as secretary to his father, who was
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. Bradlee encouraged Philip GrahamGraham, Philip Leslie,
1915–63, American publisher, b. S.Dak. After editing the Harvard Law Review, he served as a law clerk to his mentor, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter.
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, publisher of the Washington Post, to buy (1961) Newsweek, and Philip's widow Katharine GrahamGraham, Katharine Meyer,
1917–2001, American publisher, b. New York City, grad. Univ. of Chicago (1938). She first worked as a copy girl at the Washington Post, which was owned by her father, Eugene Meyer; after college, she joined the San Francisco News.
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 later made Bradlee deputy managing editor (1965), managing editor (1965), and executive editor (1968–91) of the Post. With Graham's support, Bradlee greatly improved the newspaper's coverage, particularly of politics, and made other changes that increased circulation and made the Post a national newspaper. In 1971 the Post published stories based on the Pentagon PapersPentagon Papers,
government study of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in June, 1967, the 47-volume, top secret study covered the period from World War II to May, 1968.
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 after an injunction halted the coverage in the New York Times, and it subsequently broke (1972–74) the Watergate affairWatergate affair,
in U.S. history, series of scandals involving the administration of President Richard M. Nixon; more specifically, the burglarizing of the Democratic party national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
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. He wrote Conversations with Kennedy (1975) and A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures (1995).
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