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University alum Mike Wallace, a notoriously tough interviewer, defined an age of broadcast news

By Adam Rubenfire, Daily News Editor
and Peter Shahin, Daily Staff Reporter
and Steve Zoski, Daily Staff Reporter
Published April 8, 2012

“He has seven grandchildren, and all of us have extremely personal, close connections with him.”

Wallace’s stepson, Angus Yates, said in an interview with the Daily that the University held a special place in Wallace’s heart.

“He never forgot the place, worked his whole life at improving Michigan and helping Michigan,” Yates said. “It was a very, very important part of Mike’s life.”

He added: “I think a lot of what happened later in his career came together or began at Michigan. And that stayed with him and became a very important part of his persona and his life, and he, I know, wanted to make sure that other kids coming through Michigan had the same chances that he did, so he and his wife Mary Wallace spent a lot of time making sure that Michigan offered opportunities that were important to Mike.”

Though Yates adored his stepfather, he acknowledged that Wallace knew how to get under the skin of his interviewees.

“He was a gifted genius, a very sweet man but you could never let your guard down,” Yates said. “He knew how to find your jugular, and he knew how to … he knew how to get inside your soul. But he was a lovely man, and a real angel.”

University President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement that while Wallace may be remembered nationwide as a journalist, he meant much more to the University than his professional record.

“Society will remember Mike Wallace as a dedicated, hard-charging journalist,” Coleman said. “At the University of Michigan, we know him as that and so much more. He was extremely generous with his time, his papers, his financial support, and, most important, his belief in this University and its role in today's world. We could not have asked for a more enthusiastic and loyal alumnus, one whose words and actions changed both the University of Michigan and the world beyond.”

LSA freshman Justin Goldman — president of the University’s chapter of Zeta Beta Tau, the fraternity to which Wallace held membership in during his time at the University — said the chapter is thankful for his legacy as a brother of ZBT.

“We send our condolences to Mr. Wallace’s friends and family,” Goldman said. “It’s ZBT Michigan’s 100-year anniversary in September, we want to thank him as a beneficial, benevolent alumni and appreciate everything he’s done for ZBT in the past.”

Wallace is survived by his wife, Mary Wallace, his son, Chris, host of “Fox News Sunday,” his stepdaughter, Pauline Dora, two stepsons, Eames and Angus Yates, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

—The Associated Press and Daily News Editor Paige Pearcy contributed to this report.