Ben Bradlee

Fifty years ago this week a group of burglars broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC.

They were sent there by – and paid by – operatives working to re-elect President Richard M. Nixon.

Those DNC offices were located in a Washington complex called The Watergate, where a security guard. found the burglars and caught them.

And the whole thing might have been successfully covered up, if not for the relentless pursuit of the story but two young Washington Post reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.

Backed by their editor Ben Bradlee, and the paper’s publisher, Katharine Graham, Woodward and Bernstein eventually unraveled the scandal now known simply as Watergate.

It was a time that changed American politics, and American journalism, permanently.

Each of the interviews will be featuring this week on Now. I’ve Heard Everything is centered on one figure from the Watergate scandal.

On Wednesday, my conversations with the former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, who was a central figure in the conspiracy and cover-up.

And then on Friday, the man often called the mastermind of the DNC break-in, former FBI agent and Nixon operative G. Gordon Liddy.

But first, in today’s episode, the iconic and renowned Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. He took over at the Post in 1965, in the thick of Vietnam, the civil Rights movement and a changing journalism landscape.

And although Watergate may be the thing he is best remembered for now, it was not the only major story he was involved in.

I met Ben Bradlee in 1995, when he wrote his autobiography, a book called A Good Life.

So here now, from 1995, Ben Bradlee.

Ben Bradlee died in 2014. He was 93.


You may also like these episodes:

Helen Thomas
Sam Donaldson

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Chris Lemmon

Father’s Day is coming up in about a week, and today. I wanted to share with you an interview I did a few years ago about a Hollywood father-son story.

Photo: Alan Light

For the better part of four decades, one of America’s favorite actors was Jack Lemmon.

He made some 60 movies. He was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won the Oscar twice,for Mr. Roberts, and for Save The Tiger.

Younger audiences may remember him best for his roles in the comedies Grumpy, Old Men and Grumpier Old Men.

And starting in the 1970s, Jack Lemmon’s son Chris also established himself as a performer. The younger lemon is a talented actor, screenwriter, and musician.

And in 2006, he published a book, a tribute to his dad, called A Twist of Lemmon.

And that book was nothing like so many Hollywood tell-alls.

So here now, from 2006, Chris Lemmon.

Jack Lemmon died in 2001. He was 76.

Chris Lemmon will be 68 later this month. He lives in Connecticut.


You may also like these episodes:

Rock Brynner
Rain Pryor

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Mika Brzezinski

Photo: World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

She is one of the most visible faces in television news. For 15 years she has co-hosted MSNBC’s Morning Joe program.

But before that, Mika Brzezinski ;s future in television news was anything but certain. In fact, she wasn’t sure she had a future.

Through a little bit of luck, a lot of hard work, and a persistence that just wouldn’t give up, Brzezinski earned her way back into TV news, and eventually the Morning Joe co-host slot.

I met her in 2010 when she wrote a memoir that was also a motivational book for women called All Things at Once.

So here now, from 2010, Mika Brzezinski .

Mika Brzezinski celebrated her 55th birthday last month. She and her first husband divorced in 2016. She’s been married to her MSNBC co-host Joe Scarborough since 2018.


You may also like these episodes:

Joan Lunden
Deborah Norville

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Edgar Prado

It was an electrifying finish to the 2006, Kentucky Derby, as the undefeated 3-year-old Barbaro won the race by the largest margin of victory in over six decades.

The jockey who guided Barbaro to victory that day was one of the world’s best, the 38-year-old veteran Edgar Prado.

But two weeks later tragedy struck. In the opening seconds of the Preakness, Barbaro went down with a catastrophic leg injury.

Barbaro struggled for months, before finally having to be put down.

Two years later, Prado wrote a love story, a book called My Guy Barbaro. That’s when I met him and his co-author, sports writer John Eisenberg.

So here now, from 2008, Edgar Prado and John Eisenberg

Edgar Prado will be 55 next Sunday. He lives in Hollywood, Florida.


J. Craig Venter

Can the guy who just barely graduated from high school become one of the world’s 100 most influential people?

Well, it doesn’t very often, to be sure. But that is the short version of the story of Dr. J. Craig Venter, who led the first draft sequence of the human genome some 20 years ago,

Venter founded the company Celera Genomics, which found itself in a very publicized race with the international Human Genome Project to produce that map.

And by summer 2000, Venter was a VIP guest at a White House announcement featuring President Clinton, British prime minister Tony Blair, and a host of other high-level dignitaries.

Venter was widely hailed around the world as a leading figure in the scientific community .

In 2007, Venter wrote his autobiography, a book called A Life Decoded. And that’s what I met him.

So here now, from 2007, Dr. J. Craig venter.

J. Craig Venter is 75 now. He lives in California.

Oh, and if he was curious as to why he was always such a poor student, Venter later discovered that he had a genetic marker for ADHD.


You may also like these episodes:

James Watson
Robert Ballard

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Armistead Maupin

Photo: Alan Light

We’re kicking off the start of LGBTQ Pride Month with a conversation with one of the leading literary figures in the gay rights movement of the late 20th century.

Armistead Maupin started writing stories in 1974 that were published in a small newspaper in the San Francisco area. Those serialized stories were known as tales of the City.

Finally, in 1978, Maupin published the first Tales of The City book, the 1st of several in the series.

Drawing on his own experience as a gay man, Maupin’s books feature a broad community of diverse characters and backgrounds.

Importantly, Armistead Maupin was one of the first writers to directly address the AIDS crisis.

I first met him in 1987, but the conversation you’re about to hear is from 13 years later, when we talked about his novel The Night Listener.

So here now, from 2000, Armistead Maupin.

Armistead Maupin celebrated his 78th birthday last month. He lives in New Mexico.


You may also like these episodes:

Dave Palloone
Tab Hunter

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Denise Donnelly

Memorial Day is the day America honors the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in military service.

But not all of those lives were lost on the battlefield.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Michael Donnelly flew 44 combat missions during the Persian Gulf war, Operation Desert Storm, in the early 1990s.

But in 1996, Donnelly was medically discharged from the Air Force, after being diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

His subsequent fight with the U.S. government to get medical treatment proved to be the most difficult battle he had ever fought.

In 1998, Donnelly and his sister Denise co-wrote Falcon’s Cry: A Desert Storm Memoir.

So here now, from 1998, Denise Donnelly.

Michael Donnelly died in 2005. He was 46.

A 2008 study by the University of Cincinnati found that confirmed 48 cases of ALS in Persian Gulf war veterans.


You may also like these episodes:

Elmo Zumwalt III
Winnie Smith

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Bobby Unser

One of the world’s most iconic auto races, the Indianapolis 500, will be run this Sunday.

In the 111-year history of the Indy 500 only a handful of drivers have won the race three times or more

And only two drivers have won the race in three different decades.

One of them Bobby, Unser, who’s part of the storied Unser auto racing family. He won the Indy 500 in 1968, 1975, and 1981.

He and his brother Al are the only set of brothers ever to win the Indy 500.

I met Bobby Unser in the spring of 2003, when he wrote a motivational book called Winners Are Driven.

So here now, from 2003, Bobby Unser.

Bobby Unser died last May, just days before the 2021 Indianapolis 500. He was 87.


Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Catherine Crier

Catherine Crier had a remarkable legal career. By age 30, she had become the youngest elected judge ever in the state of Texas.

But the number of years and Crier became a journalist and television personality, eventually hosting her own show on Court TV.

And along the way, she developed some strong opinions about the profession that she began her career in, the law.

Her 2002 book The Case Against Lawyers became a New York Times bestseller. And that’s when I first met her.

So here now, from 2002, Catherine Crier..

Catherine Crier is 68 now, and is a partner and a firm that develops TV, movie and documentary projects.


You may also like these episodes:

Gloria Allred
Johnnie Cochran

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Gil Amelio

Given Apple’s dominance in the high-tech world, it’s hard to imagine that it was once a company that had cash flow problems, poor quality products, a bloated workforce, and a total lack of strategy.

But that’s essentially the kind of company that Gill Amelio said he took over as CEO in early 1996.

By his own telling, Amelio cut costs, slashed staff, and tried to put the company back on a strategic course.

But less than a year and a half later, in summer of 1997, Apple was still struggling and Amelio was forced out.

The following spring he wrote a book about his 500 days at Apple, called On the Firing Line. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1998, Gil Amleio.

Gil Amelio is 79 now. He’s been a venture capitalist for the last 24 years.


You may also like these episodes:

John Sculley
Steve Wozniak

Buy Books / Media from Amazon