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Even with the driving competitiveness, Wallace was not afraid to show that he was human, making public his battles with depression. At his memorial, a portion of Safer’s interview in which Wallace admitted to a suicide attempt was played, along with clips of some of his memorable interviews.

Speakers recalled how Wallace remained a force of nature, even around the office.

Once he went into producer Josh Howard’s office and suggested doing a story on Willie Nelson. That’s unusual for Mike, Howard thought, but said Willie Nelson could be a good idea.

“Why the (expletive) would I want to do Willie Nelson?” Wallace thundered. “What I said was, `Winnie and Nelson.’ You know, Mandela? Possibly you’ve heard of them. I hadn’t realized I had wandered into the toy department.”

And, as he left the office, Wallace said, “good luck with your next career choice.”

“He drove all of us crazy, he made us think on our feet, he made us laugh and he constantly reminded us that we were a few pounds overweight,” Fager said.