David Frost, the U.K. journalist who rose to fame when he interviewed President Richard Nixon has died, announced Entertainment Weekly.
Frost had been spending time aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship in the Mediterranean sea, where he was scheduled to give a speech. He apparently suffered a heart attack while on the ship. Frost’s family has confirmed his death with BBC, according to Entertainment Weekly.
In 1977 Frost did a series of interviews with then President Richard Nixon which were televised, thus attributing to his popularity around the world. Entertainment Weekly described Frost’s work by saying “the dramatic face-to-face [interview] was make-or-break both for him and for the ex-president, who was trying to salvage his reputation after resigning from the White House in disgrace following the Watergate scandal three years earlier. At the time, it was the most widely watched news interview in the history of TV.”
Frost went on to pressure Nixon on whether his basic acknowledgment of mistakes would be enough for Americans to forgive him. He wanted Nixon to take fess up for abusing his personal power and told him, “unless you say it, you’re going to be haunted for the rest of your life.” After pressing a little further, Nixon finally gave in and famously said, “I let the American people down and I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life.”
Prime Minister David Cameron commented on Frost’s passing by praising his work, saying, “The Nixon interviews were among the great broadcast moments — but there were many other brilliant interviews.” Cameron went on to say Frost was an “extraordinary man with charm, wit, talent, intelligence and warmth in equal measure,” quoted Entertainment Weekly.
Entertainment Weekly announced Frost’s family has asked for privacy during this time by releasing a statement to The BBC.