November 9, 1879|
|Died||June 21, 1961
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park
|Alma mater||Harrison College|
|Spouse(s)||Margaret Hitchcock Doorly
Henry Doorly (November 9, 1879 – June 21, 1961) was the chairman of the World Publishing Company and publisher of the Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska, founded by his father-in-law, U.S. Senator Gilbert Hitchcock. Doorly worked for the company for 58 years, and became a highly influential figure in the city. Shortly after his death, Omaha's zoo was renamed in his memory in 1963.
Born in Barbados to Martin E. Doorly and Katherine Carrington, Doorly was educated at Harrison College in Bridgetown. From 1896 to 1898 he studied civil engineering in the West Indies. Doorly arrived in Omaha in 1902 as a surveyor with the Union Pacific Railroad, he spent two years working as a draftsman with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha. On September 7, 1904, Doorly married Margaret Hitchcock in Omaha, becoming the son-in-law of World-Herald publisher and politician Gilbert Hitchcock.
Beginning as a reporter for the Omaha World-Herald, Doorly failed miserably, retaining his job only because he was the publisher's daughter's fiancé. Doorly became successful after moving to advertisement sales, advancing to advertising manager and then business manager for the newspaper.
Doorly took control of the newspaper in 1934 when his father-in-law, Gilbert M. Hitchcock, died. Reflecting the changing nature of the major American political parties and Doorly's personal disenchantment with the New Deal in the 1930s, he implemented the newspaper's editorial page shift toward a Republican Party policy stance.
Under Doorly's guidance, the paper soon standardized advertisement policies and procedures. To enforce brevity and variety, Doorly had a daily "Item Count" conducted to count the number of stories in each news category, including local news, society, and international sections. The staff consequently produced as many as 450 separate news stories a day.
In 1963, his widow Margaret Hitchcock Doorly donated $750,000 (approximately $4.5 million in 2005 dollars) to the Omaha Zoological Society. It was organized in 1953 to improve the Riverview Park Zoo and to provide administrative help to the city. With her donation, Doorly stipulated that the zoo be renamed in memory of her late husband.
Doorly and his wife are buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Omaha.
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