Benjamin Crowninshield "Ben" Bradlee (August 26, 1921 – October 21, 2014) was executive editor of the Washington Post from 1968 to 1991. He became a national figure during the presidency of Richard Nixon, when he challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers and oversaw the publication of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's stories documenting the Watergate scandal. At his death he held the title of vice president at-large of the Washington Post.
He has also been a very active advocate for education and the study of history, including working for years as an active trustee on the boards of a few major educational and historical and archeological research institutions.
During World War II Bradlee was in the Navy and he had fought in total of thirteen naval battles; the first battles that he fought in were during the Solomon Islands Campaign: First Battle of Tulagi, Battle of Vella Lavella, and the Battle of Bouganville. The next two battles that he fought in were during the Guadalcanal Campaign: Battle of Henderson Field, The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal; he arrived at Guadalcanal with the Second Fleet on the USS Philip. The next five battles that he fought in were during the Philippines Campaign: The Battle of Letye Gulf also known as The Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, The Battle of Mindoro, The Battle of Manila, The Battle of Surigao Straits, and The Invasion of Lingayen Gulf. The next and last three battles that he fought in were during the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign: The Battle of Saipan, The Battle of Tinian, and The Battle of Guam.
After the war, in 1946, Bradlee Sr. became a reporter at the New Hampshire Sunday News, a venture he helped launch. In 1948 he started working for The Washington Post as a reporter. He got to know associate publisher Philip Graham, who was the son-in-law of the publisher, Eugene Meyer. On November 1, 1950, Bradlee was alighting from a streetcar in front of the White House just as two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to shoot their way into Blair House in an attempt to kill President Harry S. Truman. In 1951 Graham helped Bradlee become assistant press attaché in the American embassy in Paris, France.