Kenneth L. Dixon
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|Kenneth Lee "Ken" Dixon|
April 3, 1915|
Colchester, McDonough County
|Died||June 29, 1986
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Resting place||Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Colchester, Illinois|
|Occupation||Journalist affiliated with seven newspapers, including the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate|
|Spouse(s)||Ola Maye Montgomery Dixon (1914-1978) (m. 1938–78), originally from Hobbs, New Mexico|
|Parent(s)||Roy Lee and Martha R. Mourning Dixon|
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Dixon (April 3, 1915 - June 29, 1986), was a prominent journalist who reported, edited, and penned columns for seven newspapers, including two in Louisiana -- Lake Charles and Baton Rouge. He was a war correspondent during World War II.
Dixon was born in McDonough County, Illinois, near the small town of Colchester to Roy Lee Dixon and the former Martha R. Mourning. He was educated in public schools and then obtained a two-year professional teaching diploma from Western Illinois University (then Western Illinois State Teacher's College) in Macomb, also located in McDonough County. He taught in rural schools for a time but then launched a newspaper career that began with the Macomb Daily Journal, where he was a reporter from 1934-1936. He was thereafter a reporter for the Canton Daily Ledger in Canton (Fulton County), Illinois.
On July 1, 1938, he married the former Ola Maye Montgomery (1914–1978) of Hobbs. They had no children.
Dixon joined the Associated Press in Washington, D.C., in 1942. He was a war correspondent in North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific theaters. His reporting in World War II won him Army, Navy, and Army Air Corps commendations and a citation from Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism society. He accompanied more than twenty-five air combat missions and was the only newspaperman present when American forces broke out of Anzio and advanced on Rome. In December 1944, Dixon covered the successful exploits of then United States Army Mayor William Stewart Walker of Winnfield to rescue 380 American soldiers trapped behind Nazi lines in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.
He was the editor and columnist of the Lake Charles American Press from 1949-1961. In Lake Charles, he helped to expose a Louisiana gambling syndicate and won the praise of a judge who cleared him of defamation. During Dixon's tenure, the American Press doubled in circulation.
He then became managing editor of The Meridian Star in Meridian in Lauderdale County in Eastern Mississippi, a position that he held from 1961 to 1964. He was a syndicated columnist for United Features from 1964–1967, when he became a reporter and editorial page editor for the capitol newspaper, the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. He remained with the Advocate until 1971. While Dixon was at the Advocate, the managing editor was Margaret Richardson Dixon, the first woman to hold the top newsroom position. The two were not related.
After he left the Advocate, Dixon spent his last years as a free-lance writer. He died in Baton Rouge and was survived by a sister, Dorothy Dixon Burgard (born 1921) of Colchester. Dixon is interred in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Colchester.
- Obituaries, Kenneth L. Dixon, The New York Times, July 1, 1986:http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE4DD1530F932A35754C0A960948260
- "Kenneth Lee "Ken" Dixon", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 248
- Dixon obituary, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, June 30, 1986
- Ray Erwin, "Ken Dixon Becomes Roving Columnist", Editor and Publisher, April 25, 1964