Timeline: How Ben Bradlee Became The Giant in Journalism?

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Benjamin C. Bradlee, the architect and builder of the modern Washington Post, died Tuesday at his home in Washington of natural causes. As managing editor and then executive editor, His exuberance at work and in life served as a model well beyond journalism.

Benjamin C. Bradlee

Born in Boston, 1921

Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee is born.

Overcomes polio, 1936

Stricken during an epidemic, 14-year-old Bradlee is temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.

Graduated, married and off to war, 1942

Bradlee graduates from Harvard, receives his naval commission and marries Jean Saltonstall - all on the same day.

The Bradlees and the Kennedys at the White House 

Start of a newspaper career, 1946

After returning from the Pacific, Bradlee helps to found the New Hampshire Sunday News, which folds in two years.

Top job, 1968

Ben Bradlee becomes executive editor of The Post.

Pentagon Papers, 1971

Along with publisher Katharine Graham, Bradlee makes the decision to publish a story about the Pentagon Papers, which a federal judge has already barred the New York Times from writing about.

Graham and Bradlee leave the U.S. District Court in Washington after a ruling that allowed The Post to continue publishing the Pentagon Papers 

Break-in at the Watergate, 1972

An unusual break-in at the Democratic National Committee office started a Post investigation that would eventually lead all the way to the president.

Nixon resigns, 1974

Brought down by the Watergate investigation, Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president ever to resign the office. 

As seen in the movie, 1976

Bradlee is played by actor Jason Robards in the movie "All the President's Men."

Retirement, 1991

Bradlee steps down from his post as executive editor while remaining a vice president at-large.

A graceful humor, 2010

He appeared in a YouTube ad for The Washington Post iPad app, teaching his Watergate reporting star Bob Woodward how to use it.

Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2013

President Obama praises The Post's publication of the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate story as he honors Bradlee with the country's highest civilian honor.

Bradlee dies at 93, 2014

Bradlee dies at his home in Washington of natural causes at the age of 93.

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