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. Kennedy. Bradlee encouraged Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, to buy (1961) Newsweek, and Philip's widow Katharine Graham 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 Papers after an injunction halted the coverage in the New York Times, and it subsequently broke (1972–74) the Watergate affair. He wrote Conversations with Kennedy (1975) and A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures (1995).

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