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The Mike Wallace Interview

The Mike Wallace Interview. Click to enlarge.

"Whether you agree or disagree with what you will hear, we feel that none will deny the right of these views to be broadcast."

Mike Wallace rose to prominence in 1956 with the New York City television interview program, Night-Beat, which soon developed into the nationally televised prime-time program, The Mike Wallace Interview. Well prepared with extensive research, Wallace asked probing questions of guests framed in tight close-ups. The result was a series of compelling and revealing interviews with some of the most interesting and important people of the day.

The Mike Wallace Interview ran from 1957 to 1960, but the Ransom Center collection includes interviews from only 1957 and 1958. In the early 1960s, Mr. Wallace donated to the Ransom Center kinescopes of these programs and related materials, including his prepared questions, research material, and correspondence.

Copyright of all of the interviews is held by Mike Wallace, who generously agreed to allow the Ransom Center to present them here in their entirety. Any further use of this material requires the permission of both Mike Wallace and the Ransom Center.

There are 65 interviews in the Ransom Center's collection. Five are on audio tape, and the others are kinescopes, 16mm recordings of the television programs made by filming the picture from a video monitor. These 16mm films were transferred to video and, along with the audio tapes, were digitized. The interviews were then transcribed and were both embedded in the video files in the form of subtitles and included on the website as text files.

This project would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of many people, including Mike Wallace, Jay-Me Brown, Rachael Kun, Red Steiger, Bill Zizza, Andrew Kasny, Steve Kroeter, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Thomas F. Staley, Gordon Wilkerson, Quinn Stewart, Mary Sue Neilson, Daniel Zmud, Lee Tran, and many graduate students in the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin.

The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin hosts a searchable, annotatable, rich-media version of The Mike Wallace Interview collection.

Below is the full list of interviews held by the Ransom Center listed by date of broadcast.

"What you are about to see is unrehearsed and uncensored."

Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson, one of Hollywood's most spectacular stars, talks to Wallace about why she is not making films, sex appeal, Hollywood in the 1920s, marriage, plastic surgery, and cancer cures.

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Eldon Edwards

Eldon Edwards, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, talks to Wallace about the South's attitude toward the KKK, the Klan's membership, segregation, the NAACP, communism, and J. Edgar Hoover.
NOTE: This interview contains language that may be offensive to some people.

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Philip Wylie

The novelist, satirist, and social critic Philip Wylie talks to Wallace about moms and "Momism," women and marriage, religion, intellectualism, and psychoanalysis.

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Senator Wayne Morse

Senator Wayne Morse, Republican turned Democrat from Oregon, talks to Wallace about his criticisms of the Eisenhower Administration, Barry Goldwater, Raymond Moley, Richard Nixon, Arthur Miller, and Joseph McCarthy.

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Earl Browder

Earl Browder, former head of the Communist Party in the United States, talks to Wallace about Nikita Khrushchev, Joseph Stalin, the cold war, and American communism.

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Ralph Lapp

Dr. Ralph Lapp, a nuclear physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb and who gave up research to write and lecture against further nuclear testing, talks to Wallace about the Atomic Energy Commission, cancer, the social responsibility of scientists, the Manhattan project, Hiroshima, and religion.

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Mary Margaret McBride

Mary Margaret McBride, the "First Lady of Radio," pioneered radio journalism with more than 30,000 interviews over more than 20 years. She talks to Wallace about career versus family, motherhood, religion, television, and bikini bathing suits.

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David Hawkins

David Hawkins of Oklahoma City was the youngest of 20 prisoners to defect during the Korean War. Hawkins talks about his defection and why he eventually returned to the United States.

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Charles "Commando" Kelly

Chuck "Commando" Kelly, recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II, talks to Wallace about his financial troubles, unemployment, the Korean War, and nuclear weapons.

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Steve Allen

Steve Allen, comedian, musician, and television personality, talks to Wallace about his rivalry with Ed Sullivan, his television show, and awards.

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Diana Barrymore

Diana Barrymore, daughter of actor John Barrymore, talks to Wallace about her own acting career, her alcoholism, her failed marriages, and her recent autobiography, Too Much, Too Soon.

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Glenn McCarthy

Glenn McCarthy, the legendary Texas oil millionaire, talks to Wallace about money, gambling, fighting, and the Hollywood film Giant, which some say is the story of his life.

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Senator James Eastland

Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, who has been called "The Voice of the White South," talks to Wallace about segregation, slavery, the Soviet Union, voting rights laws, and the Ku Klux Klan.
NOTE: This interview contains language that may be offensive to some people.

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Bob Feller

Bob Feller, one of the great baseball pitchers of all time, talks to Wallace about ballplayers' salaries, the reserve clause, rich ball clubs, Pay TV, beer companies as sponsors, bean balls, gambling, and Joe DiMaggio versus Ted Williams.

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Dagmar, statuesque comedienne, one of the first major female stars on television, famous for her "dumb blonde" persona, talks to Wallace about her career, psychoanalysis, tranquilizers, and television.

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Fred Otash

Fred Otash, a private investigator in Hollywood, California, talks to Wallace about his work for Confidential Magazine, morality, informers, and invasion of privacy.

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Frank Lloyd Wright
9/1/1957 and 9/28/1957

This interview was recorded in two parts. Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, talks to Wallace about religion, war, mercy killing, art, critics, his mile-high skyscraper, America's youth, sex, morality, politics, nature, and death.
Thanks to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation for their cooperation in presenting this interview here.  This interview is available on home video through the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

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Eddie Arcaro

Eddie Arcaro, the most celebrated jockey in America, winner of 5 Kentucky Derbys and 22 million dollars in purses over a 25-year career, talks with Wallace about horse racing, gambling, drugging of horses, and the pressure to win.

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George Jessel

George Jessel, veteran comedian, talks to Wallace about television, Jimmie Hoffa and the Teamsters Union, fame, Jewish performers, relationships, and his desire to be named ambassador to Israel.

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Orval Faubus

Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, talks to Wallace from the Governor's mansion in Little Rock during his standoff with the Federal Government over the integration of Little Rock Central High School. Faubus had called in the National Guard to bar the African-American students from the school and had met the day before this interview with President Eisenhower in an effort to resolve the conflict.

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Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger, the leader of the birth control movement in America, talks to Wallace about why she became an advocate for birth control, over-population, the Catholic Church, and morality.

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Lili St. Cyr

Lili St. Cyr, America's leading strip teaser, talks to Wallace about her attitude towards the men who come see her perform, her attitude towards her profession, show business, and flying saucers.

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General George Kenney

Retired Air Force General George Kenney talks to Wallace about the Soviet Earth Satellite, Sputnik, which had recently launched, and why he believed it would bring the nation very close to a third world war.

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Malcolm Muggeridge

Malcolm Muggeridge, former editor of Punch Magazine and one of England's leading intellectuals, talks to Wallace about his article in The Saturday Evening Post in which he created an international furor by criticizing Queen Elizabeth.

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Carmen Basilio

Carmen Basilio, middle weight boxing champion of the world, had recently won his crown after a savage fight with Sugar Ray Robinson. Basilio talks to Wallace about Robinson, whether boxing should be outlawed due to its brutality, and organized crime's influence on boxing.

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Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas, a film star who had recently completed two films, Paths of Glory and The Vikings, talks to Wallace about acting, fame, the charge that Hollywood films misrepresent America abroad, Nazis, Communists, and European versus American women.

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Diana Dors

Diana Dors, England's answer to Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe, talks to Wallace about England's attitude toward sex, publicity stunts, the entertainment business, and the price of fame.

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Elsa Maxwell

Elsa Maxwell, syndicated gossip columnist and professional party hostess, talks to Wallace about Elvis Presley, Nikita Kruschev, Jane Mansfield, alcohol, society, immorality, The Duchess of Windsor, Cleveland Amory, and Greta Garbo.

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Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, talks to Wallace about Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Republicans, Democrats, the Soviet Union, Westbrook Pegler, her son's relationship with Dominican leader Rafael Trujillo, race, and garlic pills.

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Bennett Cerf

Bennett Cerf, president of Random House publishers and long-time panelist on the game show What's My Line, talks to Wallace about what is wrong with television, reading, and censorship.

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Drew Pearson

Drew Pearson, syndicated columnist, talks to Wallace about Sputnik, a third world war, Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, and about being called a vicious liar by prominent politicians.

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Edward Bennett Williams

Edward Bennett Williams, a high-profile defense lawyer whose clients have included gambling czar Frank Costello, union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and Senator Joseph McCarthy, talks to Wallace about the United States justice system, civil liberties, the FBI, and the United States Supreme Court.

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Leonard Ross

Leonard Ross, a 12-year-old California school boy who won a total of $164,000 on the game shows The Big Surprise and The Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Challenge, talks to Wallace about the effects of quiz shows on children, school, politics, eggheads, spanking, mothers, and Santa Claus.

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Alexander de Seversky

Alexander de Seversky, Russian-born World War I flying ace who served as a consultant to the U.S. government and helped revolutionize aerial warfare in World War II, talks to Wallace about the United States military, the Soviet military, and the possibility of nuclear war.

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Jean Seberg

Film star Jean Seberg, whose first film, Saint Joan, was panned by the critics, talks to Wallace about her new film, Bonjour Tristesse, critics, acting in Hollywood, and private life.

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Nobel Prize Winners

In this special telecast from the American Nobel Anniversary Committee Dinner and Forum at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, Dr. Linus Pauling, Pearl S. Buck, Clarence Pickett, and Sir John Boyd Orr talk about peace in a world threatened by war.

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John Gates

John Gates, editor of the Communist Daily Worker and a leader in the Communist Party in the United States for 27 years, talks to Wallace about why he quit the Communist Party.

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Walter Reuther

Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers, talks to Wallace about his plan for profit sharing for auto workers, which was being attacked as a "giant step toward socialism."

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Fulton Lewis, Jr.

Fulton Lewis, Jr., conservative newspaper and radio commentator, talks to Wallace about the right wing in America, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, General Douglas MacArthur, Francisco Franco, Adlai Stevenson, Joseph McCarthy, Eisenhower Republicans, and Democratic Liberals.

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Pearl Buck

Pearl Buck, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning novelist, talks to Wallace about American women, marriage, career versus family, and the difference between men and women.

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Ben Hecht

Novelist, playwright, and noted Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht talks to Wallace about working in Hollywood, selling out, growing old, religion, and politics.

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Rudy Vallee

Rudy Vallee, the American singer, bandleader, and actor, first of the great "crooners," and arguably the first mass media pop star, talks to Wallace about his career, his opinions about his fans, Hollywood, his friends, and his reputation for stinginess.

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Major Donald E. Keyhoe

Former Marine Air Corps Major Donald Keyhoe, director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, conducted an investigation of the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). Keyhoe talks to Wallace about the United States military, reports of UFO sightings, the various theories explaining UFOs, government cover-ups, and the possibility of interplanetary war.

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Oscar Hammerstein II

One of the most successful and controversial figures in show business and Broadway lyricist for such classics as Oklahoma!, The King and I, and South Pacific, Oscar Hammerstein II talks to Wallace about sentimentality, racism, religion, and politics.

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Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, the young Hollywood star, talks to Wallace about unflattering news stories, Hollywood, Manhattan, loneliness, religion, freedom, and the beat generation.

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Peter Ustinov

Peter Ustinov, actor, playwright, director, and novelist, talks to Wallace about a variety of subjects including the monarchy versus the presidency, death, education, sex, money, advertising, and fame.

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Lillian Roth

Lillian Roth, the singer whose brutally frank autobiography I'll Cry Tomorrow was made into an Academy Award-winning film with Susan Hayward, talks to Wallace about her battle with alcoholism, religion, psychoanalysis, Alcoholics Anonymous, and her new book, Beyond My Worth.

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Abba Eban

As Israel celebrates its tenth anniversary, Abba Eban, Israel's ambassador to the United States, talks to Wallace about Arab nations, the Arab refugee problem, Egypt's President Nasser, Jews in America, and the charge that Israel threatens world peace with a policy of territorial expansion.

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Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali, the surrealist painter, talks to Wallace about genius, the subconscious, weakness, old age and luxury, death, religion, and dreams.

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Reinhold Niebuhr

Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, vice president of Union Theological Seminary in New York, on leave to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and one of the most important and challenging religious thinkers in the world, talks to Wallace about the separation between church and state, Catholicism, Protestantism, anti-Semitism, communism, and nuclear war.

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William O. Douglas

William Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, talks with Wallace about freedom of expression and the freedom to exchange ideas. In Douglas's book, The Right of the People, he wrote, "In recent years, as we have denounced the loss of liberties abroad we have witnessed its decline here in America."

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Cyrus Eaton

Cyrus Eaton, a successful Cleveland industrialist and businessman and outspoken critic of the United States' foreign and military policies, talks to Wallace about how Americans' freedoms are being destroyed by the Cold War.

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Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley, social critic and author of Brave New World, talks to Wallace about threats to freedom in the United States, overpopulation, bureaucracy, propaganda, drugs, advertising, and television.

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Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and social critic, talks to Wallace about society, materialism, relationships, government, religion, and happiness.

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Adlai Stevenson

Adlai Stevenson, former governor of Illinois and twice the Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, talks to Wallace about American politics, the difficulty in persuading good people to become involved in politics, diversity, elections, and the need for the average citizen to be involved in government.

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Sylvester Weaver

Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, former president of the National Broadcasting Company, creator of such television programs as Wide Wide World, Today, and Tonight, talks to Wallace about television, management, advertising, and the social function of television.

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Francis Lally

Monsignor Francis Lally, editor of one of the most influential Catholic newspapers in America, the Boston Pilot, talks to Wallace about a lack of understanding between Catholics and non-Catholics, the separation between church and state, dissent, diversity, and religion.

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Harry Ashmore

Harry Ashmore, executive editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his forceful editorials denouncing the racist mobs during the desegregation conflict in Little Rock's high school, talks to Wallace about the integrity of journalists, the influence of advertisers and the government on the press, techniques of interviewing, and the desegregation of Little Rock High School.

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Charles Percy

Charles Percy, president of Bell & Howell, talks to Wallace about the role of government in the economic system, about private enterprise's involvement in public services, tax reform, and the soviet economic system.

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Henry Kissinger

Dr. Henry Kissinger, Associate Director of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, talks to Wallace about the United States' foreign and military policies, limited nuclear war, the Soviet Union, Algeria, the Middle East, and Republicans, including Richard Nixon.

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Robert Hutchins

Dr. Robert Hutchins, former dean of the Yale Law School, former president of the University of Chicago, and president of the Fund for the Republic, talks to Wallace about freedom, illusion as an enemy of freedom, government, civil rights, and education.

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Henry Wriston

Dr. Henry Wriston, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and former president of Brown University, talks to Wallace about the Middle East crisis, United States foreign policy, and the threat of nuclear war.

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Edward Weeks

Edward Weeks, editor of the monthly magazine The Atlantic, talks to Wallace about "bigness," mass culture, tastemakers, advertising, and media.

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James McBride Dabbs

James McBride Dabbs, South Carolinian, plantation owner, elder in the Presbyterian Church, president of the Southern Regional Council, and author of The Southern Heritage, talks to Wallace about the psychological burden of the Southerner, segregation, school integration, and the consequences of the Civil War.

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Mortimer Adler

Mortimer Adler, president of the Institute for Philosophical Research, former professor of the philosophy of law at the University of Chicago, and author of The Idea of Freedom, talks to Wallace about conceptions of freedom, capitalism, socialism, and the American worker.

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Arthur Larson

Arthur Larson, who resigned from the Eisenhower administration after having served as Undersecretary of Labor, Head of the United States Information Agency, and Special Assistant to the president, talks to Wallace about Eisenhower, the administration's social philosophy, politics, and the American way of life.

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