Floyd Gibbons

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Floyd Gibbons
Floyd Gibbons-5-Oct-1918 welcomed home.jpg
Gibbons is given a "home town" welcome at Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 5, 1918. To the right of the photo is his sister Zelda.
Born Floyd Phillips Gibbons
July 16, 1887
Washington, D.C., United States
Died September 23, 1939
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Occupation Journalist and Radio Commentator

Floyd Phillips Gibbons (July 16, 1887 – September 23, 1939) was the war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune during World War I. One of radio's first news reporters and commentators, he was famous for a fast-talking delivery style. Floyd Gibbons lived a life of danger of which he often wrote and spoke.

Gibbons was born in Washington, D.C., the first of five children of Edward Thomas Gibbons and Emma Theresa Phillips. He started with the Tribune in 1907. He became well known for covering the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916, and for reporting on the 1917 torpedoing of the British ship RMS Laconia, on which he was a passenger.

As a World War I correspondent at the Battle of Belleau Wood, France, Gibbons lost an eye after being hit by German gunfire while attempting to rescue an American soldier.

In August 1918, Gibbons was given France's greatest honor, the Croix de Guerre with Palm, for his valor on the field of battle. On June 21, 1941, Marine Corps League State Commandant Roland L. Young posthumously awarded Gibbons a gold medal, making him an honorary member of the Marine Corps. It was the first such civilian honor ever made in the history of the Marine Corps League.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Gibbons was widely known as a radio commentator and narrator of newsreels, for which he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also narrated Vitaphone's "Your True Adventures" series of short films [1], which began as a radio program in which Gibbons paid twenty-five dollars for the best story submitted by a listener.[2] In 1927 he wrote a biography of the Red Baron called The Red Knight of Germany. He also wrote the speculative fiction novel The Red Napoleon in 1929. Gibbons was the narrator for the documentary film With Byrd at the South Pole (1930). In 1929, he had his own half-hour radio program heard Wednesday nights on the NBC Red Network at 10:30. Competition from Paul Whiteman's show on CBS Radio, however, brought Gibbons' show to an end by March 1930.

When Gibbons suggested that Frank Buck write about Buck's animal collecting adventures, Buck collaborated with Edward Anthony on Bring 'Em Back Alive which became a bestseller in 1930.

Gibbons died of a heart attack in September 1939 at his farm in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.[1]

In 1953 Gibbons' brother Edward published a biography of Floyd titled Floyd Gibbons - Your Headline Hunter.

In "The Floyd Gibbons Story", a 1962 episode of The Untouchables, Gibbons was portrayed by Scott Brady.


List of “Your True Adventure” short films[edit]

These were all produced by Warner Brothers, filmed at the Vitaphone studio in New York with Joseph Henabery directing. Each recreates a “heart stopping” event with actors and often presenting the real person behind the story in the final scene, introduced by Gibbons himself.

  • The Attic of Terror (9 minutes, September 18, 1937) with Chester Stratton, William Morrow & Julia Fasset
  • Playing with Danger (9 minutes, October 30, 1937)
  • Danger- High Voltage (9 minutes, December 4, 1937) with Bruce MacFarlane, Ruth Dryden, Jack Harwood & Philip Ober
  • The Bolted Door (18 minutes, December 10, 1937) with Diana Datlow
  • Alibi Mark (13 minutes, December 20, 1937) with Dennis Moore (available on DVD Kid Galahad (1937 film))
  • Hit And Run (13 minutes, February 19, 1938) with Giles Kelly, Peggy O'Donnell and Robert Elliot.
  • Shopgirl's Evidence (9 minutes, March 19, 1938) with Barbara Fulton
  • Dear Old Dad (12 minutes, April 11, 1938) with Wryley Birch
  • Wanderlust (9 minutes, May 14, 1938) with John Raby, Margaret Wycherly & Ed Butler
  • A Dream Come True (9 minutes, June 4, 1938) with Marilyn Jolie, Joyce Gates, Minette Barrett & Frederick Smith.
  • The Fighting Judge (13 minutes, July 2, 1938) with Edward Trevor, J. Covil Dunn, Suzanne Jackson & Patsy Roe
  • Night Intruder (14 minutes, July 9, 1938) with Helen Carew, Edith Ketchum, Jean Whittaker, Helen Cromwell & Harry Bellaver (available on DVD The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse)
  • Trapped Underground (9 minutes, ©-August 20, 1938) with Millard Mitchell, Ralph Chambers & Jack Harwood.
  • Identified (9 minutes, September 17, 1938) with Vernon Rich
  • Defying Death (12 minutes, October 15, 1938) with Mady Carrell, Warren Ashe & Stephen Miller
  • Toils Of The Law (11 minutes, November 12, 1938) with Dane Clark (Bernard Zanville), Herbert Rudley, Mabel Taliaferro & Sheldon Leonard
  • Treacherous Waters (9 minutes, December 10, 1938)
  • The Human Bomb (12 minutes, January 21, 1939) with Ryder Keane, Edward Mayne & Lyster Chambers
  • High Peril (12 minutes, February 18, 1939) with Eddie Acuff & William Challee
  • A Minute from Death (9 minutes, March 4, 1939) with Jack Sheehan
  • Chained (9 minutes, April 1, 1939) with Tommy Cooney, Kenneth Derby & Herb Vigran
  • Voodoo Fires (9 minutes, May 6, 1939) with Frank Lyon
  • Haunted House (12 minutes, June 3, 1939) with Claire McAloon, Ruth Halstead & Edna West.
  • Lives In Peril (9 minutes, July 1, 1939) with Charles Powers, John Kirk and Ralph Riggs
  • Three Minute Fuse (12 minutes, July 29, 1939) with Edward Andrews
  • Verge of Disaster (9 minutes, August 26, 1939) with Frank Marion, Alma Ross & John Regan

Earlier, he hosted another short film titled The Great Decision (about Woodrow Wilson), produced by Amadee J. Van Beuren for RKO Pictures (August 27, 1931)

References[edit]

  • Floyd Gibbons - Your Headline Hunter; Exposition Press, New York, 1953, a biography by his brother.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury, September 26, 1939