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Friends, Colleagues Gather In NYC To Honor Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace attends the Henry A. Grunwald Awards Luncheon on September 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Mike Wallace attends the Henry A. Grunwald Awards Luncheon on September 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Chris Wallace turned and blew a kiss to a giant portrait of his father, “60 Minutes” journalist Mike Wallace, after memorializing him Tuesday as “the best journalist I have ever known.”

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For nearly two hours, colleagues, friends and family members swapped stories, some flattering, some not so, about one of television news’ best-known journalists.

Wallace, who left an indelible imprint on broadcast journalism during his 68 year-long career, died April 7 at the age of 93.

Despite exasperating moments, he was loved because he was not mean and had a good heart, his son said. As dementia began stripping away his intellect in his final years, “what remained of Mike Wallace was a sweet and gentle man,” he said.

Wallace is best known for his work on “60 Minutes,” but his long career includes stints as a game show host, actor and radio host.

He retired as a regular correspondent in 2006, but appeared occasionally on “60 Minutes” until heart surgery slowed him down in 2008.

Besides Chris Wallace, two of Mike’s grandchildren, former colleagues Steve Kroft and Morley Safer and CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager also spoke.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)