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David Brinkley. January 1989. Courtesy of AP Images.

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Brinkley, David (10 July 1920–11 June 2003), broadcast journalist, was born David McClure Brinkley in Wilmington, North Carolina, the son of William Graham Brinkley, a railroad worker, and Mary MacDonald West. Brinkley's father died when the boy was eight, leaving him in the care of a dour, deeply religious mother. Brinkley, seeking escape through reading, spent hours at the Wilmington Public Library. He also enjoyed writing. Encouraged by his high school English teacher, Brinkley worked part‐time at Wilmington's afternoon newspaper, the ...

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Collingwood, Charles Cummings (04 June 1917–03 October 1985), broadcast journalist and foreign correspondent, was born in Three Rivers, Michigan, the son of George Harris Collingwood, a professor and forester, and Jean Grinnell Cummings. In 1935 Collingwood spent two years at Deep Springs College in Death Valley, California, an experimental school modeled on the Oxford system. In 1937 Collingwood transferred to Cornell, where he graduated cum laude in 1939. The same year he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship. In 1940, while attending Oxford University, he worked for the United Press wire service. In March 1941 he was invited by ...

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Frederick, Pauline Annabel (13 February 1908–09 May 1990), journalist, was born in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Matthew Phillip Frederick, a postmaster, and Susan Catharine Stanley. The family later settled in Harrisburg, where her father worked for the state in jobs ranging from factory inspector to director of the Bureau of Industrial Relations....

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Friendly, Fred W. (30 October 1915–03 March 1998), broadcast journalist and television producer, was born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in New York City, the son of Samuel Wachenheimer, a jewelry manufacturer, and Therese Friendly Wachenheimer. Around 1926 his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island. Although he was an undistinguished student, he was fervently interested in radio and history during his youth. After graduating from Hope Street High School, he attended Nichols Junior College in Dudley, Massachusetts, majoring in business administration. In 1937 he was hired as a radio announcer and newscaster at a station in Providence, where his employers insisted that he change his name to Fred Friendly. During his tenure at the station he wrote and narrated five-minute documentaries about men such as the inventors ...

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Heatter, Gabriel (17 September 1890–30 March 1972), broadcast commentator, was born on the Lower East Side of New York City, the son of Henry Heatter, a tailor, and Anna Fishman. Both of Heatter’s parents were immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He grew up in a Jewish community in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, leaving high school without a diploma. In 1915 he married Saidie Hermalin, a schoolteacher; they had two children. Heatter began his journalism career first as a part-time reporter for a Brooklyn newspaper and in 1909 as a full-time reporter for the ...

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Chet Huntley Right, with David Brinkley. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115929).

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Huntley, Chet (10 December 1911–20 March 1974), broadcast journalist, was born Chester Robert Huntley in Cardwell, Montana, the son of Percy Adams “Pat” Huntley, a railroad telegrapher, and Blanche Wadine Tatham, a former schoolteacher. In 1913 his parents claimed a homestead on 960 acres of land near Saco in northern Montana. Chet’s earliest memories were of farm chores, and his early schooling was in a one-room schoolhouse built on a corner of his parents’ land, where he was taught to read by phonics (sounding out letters), a system he later advocated....

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McGee, Frank (12 September 1921–17 April 1974), television news journalist, was born Doctor Frank McGee in Monroe, Louisiana, the son of Robert Albert McGee, a farmer and sawmill owner, and Calla Brown. His parents divorced when he was a child, and his mother married Lannie Crocker, an oil field worker. His family, like many during the depression, had very little money....

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Edward R. Murrow. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-107889).

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Murrow, Edward R. (25 April 1908–27 April 1965), broadcast journalist, was born Egbert Roscoe Murrow in Polecat Creek, near Greensboro, North Carolina, the son of Roscoe Murrow, a farmer and later an engineer on a logging railroad, and Ethel Lamb, a teacher. The Murrow family soon traveled to the state of Washington, which was still thought of as a frontier, full of labor strikes and conflicts over free speech, trade unionism, and legislative reform....

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Reasoner, Harry (17 April 1923–06 August 1991), broadcast journalist, was born in Dakota City, Iowa, the son of Harry Ray Reasoner, a school superintendent, and Eunice Nicholl, a teacher. His parents traveled extensively, but Reasoner considered Humboldt, Iowa, his hometown because he had lived there as a child and had spent summers there visiting his grandparents and other relatives. In 1935 the Reasoner family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he graduated from West High School in 1941. Reasoner worked for the ...

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Reynolds, Frank (29 November 1923–20 July 1983), pioneer broadcast journalist and network television anchorman, was born in East Chicago, Indiana, the son of Frank James Reynolds, a manager at Inland Steel Company, and Helen Duffy. He attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, but left when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He served as a staff sergeant from 1943 until 1945, receiving a purple heart for wounds sustained in Kassel, Germany, when shrapnel lodged in his left thigh. After a medical discharge, he attended Indiana University but never graduated. A practicing Roman Catholic, he married Henrietta Mary Harpster in 1947. They had five sons, two of whom also became broadcast journalists....

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Rukeyser, Louis Richard (30 January 1933–02 May 2006), financial journalist and television commentator, was born in New York City, the second of four sons of Merryle Stanley Rukeyser, a financial editor of the New York Herald Tribune and columnist for Hearst newspapers, and Berenice Helene Simon Rukeyser....

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Savitch, Jessica (01 February 1948–23 October 1983), journalist, was born Jessica Beth Savitch in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the daughter of David Savitch, a clothing merchant, and Florence Spadoni, a registered nurse. The eldest of the couple’s three daughters, Savitch attributed her interest in journalism to her father, who insisted that dinner-table conversation be focused on current events and issues. His death, when Savitch was twelve years old, would be the first of several tragedies shaping her life. The changed financial situation of the family forced Florence Savitch to return to nursing and was a major factor years later in Savitch’s decision to attend Ithaca College, the least expensive of the schools she wanted to attend. She completed a degree in communications in 1968....

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Schoenbrun, David Franz (15 March 1915–23 May 1988), broadcast journalist, was born in New York City, the son of Max Schoenbrun, a traveling jewelry salesman, and Lucy Cassirer. Schoenbrun’s career in news began in large part because of his fluency in foreign languages. After graduating from New York City College in 1934, he worked as a high school teacher of French and Spanish. He also worked as a labor relations adjuster, as an editor of a trade newsletter for the Dress Manufacturers Association, and as a freelance writer. In 1942 he worked for the Office of War Information doing propaganda analysis on the western European news desk....

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Eric Sevareid Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-112701).

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Sevareid, Eric (26 November 1912–09 July 1992), journalist and author, was born Arnold Eric Sevareid in Velva, North Dakota, the son of Alfred Eric Sevareid, a bank teller, and Clare Pauline Elizabeth Hougen. He enjoyed setting type at the weekly Velva Journal, owned by a friend of his father’s. When wheat-killing droughts closed many local banks, the Sevareids moved in 1925 to Minot, North Dakota, and a year later to Minneapolis, where Sevareid attended high school. He said that the only thing he learned there was how to manage the school paper. Upon his graduation in 1930 Sevareid and a friend took a 2,200-mile canoe trip from Minneapolis to York Factory on Hudson Bay. (He later wrote a book for juveniles based on this adventure, titled ...

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Smith, Howard K. (12 May 1914–15 February 2002), radio and television journalist, news analyst, and network anchor, was born Howard Kingsbury Smith Jr. in Ferriday, Louisiana, the son of Howard Kingsbury Smith Sr. and Agnes "Minnie" Cates Smith, farmers. Precocious and athletic, Howard won a scholarship to Tulane University, where he majored in journalism and graduated with honors. "I intended all my life to work on newspapers," Smith said in an interview in 1997. "But I finished college in 1936, during the depths of the Depression, and could not get a job. My German teacher informed me he could arrange a scholarship for me at Heidelberg University, if I could pay my own way to Europe" (Marc). He used the prize money he won in a student writing contest to book passage....

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Snyder, Jimmy "the Greek" (09 September 1919?–21 April 1996), gambler, newspaper columnist, and television sports broadcaster, was born Demetrios Georgios Synodinos in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of George Synodinos, owner of the White Star Meat Market, and Sultania Synodinos. In March 1928, when the boy was ten, his mother and his aunt, Theano Galanos, were murdered in front of the family home by Theano's estranged husband, a war hero suffering from “battle fatigue.” After his mother's death, his father moved with the three children to Kios, a Greek island. It was in Kios that young Demetrios learned to gamble, tossing stones for drachmas with the local teenagers....