Ben Bradlees reach was wide and inclusive and hands-on with WANADA dealers

Ben Bradleeês reach was wide and inclusive and hands-on with WANADA dealers

The storied executive editor at The Washington Post, the late Ben Bradlee, was remembered warmly at his funeral this week at the National Cathedral in an event rivaling those of former presidents in terms of pomp and circumstance and turnout. He died a week ago on Oct. 21 at the age of 93. Typical of Mr. Bradlee, he reportedly choreographed his own funeral arrangements, which reflected a full church turnout of notables and the ordinary.

He made history early into his 23 year stint as executive editor at The Post when he won the bet supporting his reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they broke the story in the Post in 1971 on the Watergate break-in to Democrat campaign headquarters which ultimately brought down the Nixon Administration.

Not long after that, former WANADA chief of staff Gerry Murphy remembers his predecessor, Mike Murphy, and some WANADA dealers meeting in the WANADA offices with Washington Post reps, including Bradlee, regarding an unflattering article that had appeared in the paper about the automobile business. –I had just started at the association and recall hearing that Ben Bradlee had come over and him saying something to Dad along the lines of •Mike, the article was off base and we never should have run it.ê It took a lot for a man like Ben Bradlee to fall on his sword like that and I became a fan from that point forward,” said Murphy.

Years later, Ben Bradlee was WANADAês 1988 Annual Meeting and Luncheon keynoter at Congressional Country Club, per the photo above. At that lunch meeting Barry Covington, formerly of Covington Buick GMC, stepped out as chairman of WANADA –passing the chairmanês gavel” to Lou Kairys of Lustine. Bradlee cited a quote at the 1988 luncheon from his friend and protege President John F. Kennedy: –There are three realities in life, and they are — God, human folly and laughter– the first two are beyond our comprehension, so we must do what we can with the third.” And in the Q & A when Watergate came up, he had this to say: –These Watergate tapes will take me to my grave with a huge smile on my face.”

Rest in peace, Ben.

Download Bulletin PDF