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David Frost, known for Richard Nixon interview, dies at 74

LONDON — David Frost had sparred with Richard Nixon for hours, recording a series of interviews with the former president three years after he stepped down in disgrace over Watergate. But as the sessions drew to a close, Frost realized he still lacked something: an acknowledgement by Nixon that he had been wrong.

Nixon had admitted making mistakes, but Frost put down his clipboard and pressed his subject on whether that was enough. Americans, he said, wanted to hear him own up to his misdeeds and acknowledge abusing the power of the White House.

"Unless you say it, you're going to be haunted for the rest of your life," the British broadcaster told Nixon.

What came next were some of the most extraordinary comments ever made by a politician on television. For Frost, who died Saturday, it was the signature moment of an illustrious television career that spanned half a century and included interviews with a long list of the world's most powerful and famous, including virtually every British prime minister and U.S. president of his time.

A natural at TV hosting, he seemed to effortlessly inhabit the worlds of entertainment and politics. As a satirist, a game show host and a journalist, he disarmed others with unfailing affability and personal charm.


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