Grover C. Hall

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Grover Cleveland Hall, Sr. (January 11, 1888 – 1941) was an American newspaper editor.[1] At the Montgomery Advertiser in Montgomery, Alabama, he garnered national attention and won a Pulitzer Prize during the 1920s for his editorials that criticized the Ku Klux Klan.[2]

Newspaper career[edit]

Hall was born in Haleburg, Alabama, near the Georgia and Florida borders, and educated in the state's country schools.[1] Grover was ten in 1898, when his older brother William Theodore Hall started newspaper work in Dothan, Alabama, also in the southeastern corner of the state. W.T. Hall was editor of the Dothan Eagle from 1905 to 1924 (his death) and Grover started work under him in 1905.[3] There he was a printer's devil; from 1907 to 1910 he worked in editorial positions at the Enterprise Ledger (Enterprise, AL), Dothan Daily Siftings, Selma Times, and at the Pensacola Journal, where he wrote editorials in 1910.[1] That year he moved to be associate editor of the Montgomery Advertiser in the state capital, where he married in 1912, became chief editor in 1926, and was appointed probate judge in 1933.[1]

Today the Montgomery Advertiser says that it "waged war on the resurgent Ku Klux Klan" during the 1920s. Hall won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 1928 for that work.[2] The official citation specified "his editorials against gangsterism, floggings and racial and religious intolerance."[4]

Hall endorsed Al Smith for U.S. President in 1928 (against Hoover).[3] He was a friend of H.L. Mencken, editor of The Baltimore Sun, and they exchanged many letters, some of which "inspired Hall to think critically about the South".[3] Mencken did not support democracy but theirs was "a remarkable coincidence of views" on less political matters, according to the Hall family biographer (quoted in the review).[3]

Late in the 1930s, Hall argued for release of the black Scottsboro Boys[3] who were commonly defended only in the North.

The Egregious Gentile[edit]

On December 4, 1938, the Advertiser published Hall's editorial "The Egregious Gentile Called to Account".[5] It carried the subtitle: "Clinical notes on his lack of gallantry and sportsmanship, his bad mental habits, his tactlessness, his lack of imagination, his poor discernment, his faults as citizen and neighbor, his gullibility and arrogance." Hall observed that "1,000,001 articles and books" have defended the Jew. "Fortunately he does not stand in need of defense. But I can think of 100 reasons why his Gentile brother, usually ignored by critics, invites and deserves arraignment before the bar of his own conscience. ... The earth swarms with men who think they are experts on the Jew. Nobody attempts a critical estimate of the Gentile as a Gentile. ... I, for one, marvel at this escape of the Gentile from accountability and justice." He concluded that in order to save "the lovely pillars of civilization we shall have to purge ourselves. That striding Colossus known as the Nordic Gentile must be born again."[6]

"The Egregious Gentile" was published in the U.S. Congressional Record on January 17, 1939.[1][5] It was issued by the New York City League for Industrial Democracy as pages 27–40 of a 40-page pamphlet, with a longer article by the editor of The New Republic.

  • "The Jewish refugee problem", by Bruce Bliven, and "The egregious Gentile called to account", by Grover C. Hall (New York: League for Industrial Democracy, copyright 1939)

The pamphlet opened with a two-page dedication to the recently deceased Baruch Charney Vladeck and was sold for 15 cents.[7][8]

Family[edit]

Hall married Claudia English in 1912 and they had one son.[1] His wife suffered an emotional breakdown in 1929 and Hall died of a bleeding ulcer in 1941 (from a scholarly review of the family biography, An Alabama Newspaper Tradition).[3]

Grover Cleveland Hall, Jr. (February 10, 1915 – September 24, 1971) was educated in the Montgomery public schools and worked seven years in Advertiser reporting and writing positions before World War II military service. In the US Air Force from 1942 to 1945, he contributed some articles to the Advertiser and Alabama Journal from England. He was a Montgomery Advertiser editor after the war, and editor-in-chief from 1956 to 1971.[9][10] Or from 1948 until fired in 1966.[3] Hall allied with George C. Wallace in 1958 and was preparing to be director of publications for the Wallace organization when he died in 1971.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Hall, Grover Cleveland, 1884{sic} – 1941". Alabama Authors. The University of Alabama Libraries. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  2. ^ a b "History of the Montgomery Advertiser". Montgomery Advertiser: a Gannett Company. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h The Journal of Southern History 50:2 (May 1984) pp. 332–34. Review by Charles W. Eagles, University of Mississipi, of An Alabama Newspaper Tradition: Grover C. Hall and the Hall Family. Daniel Webster Hollis III. University of Alabama. 1983. Pages 332–34 at jstor.org. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
     Eagles identifies "several serious weaknesses" and concludes, "If the Halls warrant a scholarly study they certainly deserve better than Hollis has provided."
  4. ^ "Editorial Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  5. ^ a b "The egregious gentile called into account" (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939). 13 p. 23 cm. Harvard Library catalog record. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
  6. ^ "The Egregious Gentile Called to Account". Grover C. Hall, Editor The Montgomery Advertiser. Reprint in The Florence Times (Florence, AL), December 10, 1938. Image at Google News. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
     The Florence Times simply reprinted the article on its editorial page without a word of comment. Its own short lead editorial "City Managership On The March" supported the manager movement and hoped for a permissive act during the 1939 session of the Alabama state legislature.
  7. ^ "The Jewish refugee problem". Library of Congress Catalog record. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
     "More like this" seems to show that LC has only the one catalog record for works by Hall, senior.
  8. ^ "Full text of The Jewish refugee problem, and the Egregious Gentile called do account". Community Texts. Internet Archive. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
     One of multiple formats ("See other formats").
  9. ^ "Hall, Grover C. (Grover Cleveland), 1915-1971". Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  10. ^ "Hall, Grover Cleveland, Jr., 1915-1971". Alabama Authors. UA Libraries. Retrieved 2013-11-07.