Roy A. Roberts

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Roy Allison Roberts (1887 – February 23, 1967) was a managing editor, president, editor and general manager of The Kansas City Star who guided the paper during its influential period during the Presidencies of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Roberts was born in Muscotah, Kansas and grew up in Lawrence, Kansas where he was paperboy for the Star and studied journalism at the University of Kansas. One semester short of graduation he dropped out to work for the Lawrence Journal-World to support his widowed mother and five siblings.

He joined the Star in 1909 as a sports reporter and switched to covering the Missouri Legislature in 1910. In 1915 Star founder William Rockhill Nelson assigned him to be the Washington correspondent.

After Nelson's death, he was among the employees who bought the Star and he came managing editor in 1928 and member of the board of directors.

Roberts was to be closely identified with shaping Kansas Republican politics and he championed Kansas Governor Alf Landon in his unsuccessful 1936 race against Franklin Roosevelt.

During Roberts' tenure, Kansas City rose to prominence thanks to the rise and fall of Big Boss Democratic machine of Thomas Pendergast which was to see the rise of Harry Truman. Roberts and Truman did not always see eye to eye during this period.

Truman in the closing weeks of his administration was to bring actions against the Star that was to force it to divest itself of WDAF-TV.

In 1953 Roberts married Florence G. Ross, the widow of Truman's Press Secretary Charles G. Ross.

Roberts championed Kansan Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 race.

In 1963 he stepped down as managing editor but became chairman of the board and he officially retired in 1965. The paper won five Pulitzer Prizes during his watch.

He was profiled in a Time cover article on April 12, 1948.

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