Editor for the Ages
As Executive Editor of the Washington Post from 1965 to 1991, Ben Bradlee turned an undistinguished daily paper into one of the world's great news organizations. His many achievements include guiding the epic Woodward and Bernstein reporting effort that exposed the questionable political activities that became known as the Watergate scandal. He is currently Vice President at Large of the Washington Post Company.
More than 60 years after the fact, it's hard to come to grips with how young we all were as we signed up to help make the world safe for democracy. At the ripe old age of 21, I graduated from Harvard, was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy, and got married—all on the same day in August 1942.
A few weeks later, after honeymooning in Canada, I reported to my brand new Fletcher-class, 2,100-ton destroyer, the USS Philip (DD-498), in Kearny, New Jersey. Soon we were off to the Pacific war, escorting the battleship Massachusetts (BB-59) to New Caledonia.