Stanley Walker (editor)

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Stanley Walker, city editor of the New York Herald Tribune, 1928 to 1935.

Stanley Walker (1898–1962) was an editor of the New York Herald Tribune in the first half of the 20th century.

According to a roadside memorial [1] at the site of his birth near Lampasas, Texas, Walker began his career in Austin and Dallas. He served as city editor of the Herald-Tribune, and also on the staff of the Philadelphia Ledger. Among his books was The Night Club Era. He spent his last years in the Lampasas area.[2]

Early life[edit]

Earl Stanley Walker was born to William Walker, a one-time teacher turned farmer, and his wife Cora Stanley.[3] The first of five sons, he grew up working on the family farm, later attending Lampasas High School where he was a member of the debate team.[4] After graduating in 1915 he attended the University of Texas, pledging Sigma Nu fraternity.[5] Walker interned on the Austin American newspaper until he left the university in 1918 to work full time on the Dallas News.[6]

Career[edit]

By 1919 Walker had left Dallas for New York City where he started as a beat reporter on a city paper.[7] He earned his own byline with The Sun and New York Herald a year later, writing Sunday features.[8] Walker married his college sweetheart Mary Louise Sandefer in January 1923;[9] the couple would have two children.[10]

Besides working on the editorial staff of his newspaper, Walker also wrote book reviews for the New York Times and freelance articles for other publications. One such essay, "The Fundamentalist Pope" for H.L. Mencken's American Mercury drew the ire of local clergy.[11] Walker was also rumored to write "Wild West" fiction under a nom de plume.[12]

Walker was appointed night editor of the New York Herald (later known as the Herald Tribune) in 1926. Two years later he became city editor, a position he would hold until 1935. He then left the Herald Tribune for short stints at the New Yorker and the New York Woman, returning in 1937 to again hold the position of editor for another two years.[13]

Later life[edit]

Walker finished out his editorial career at the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger in 1940. From then on he wrote freelance for magazines and newspapers. His first wife died in 1944, and he remarried two years later to a newspaperwoman named Ruth Alden Howell. He moved back to his hometown of Lampasas, Texas in 1956, where he published two more books and was a frequent contributor to Texas newspapers.

On November 25, 1962 his body was found lying in a cabin he frequently used for writing; a shotgun lay nearby. The coroner's verdict ruled the death was "self-inflicted". His obituary noted rumors of ill-health and a needed operation were current just before his passing.[14]

"A good newspaperman"[edit]

Walker may be best known to modern audiences for his description of the ideal newspaper journalist:

What makes a good newspaperman? The answer is easy. He knows everything. He is aware not only of what goes on in the world today, but his brain is a repository of the accumulated wisdom of the ages.
He is not only handsome, but he has the physical strength which enables him to perform great feats of energy. He can go for nights on end without sleep. He dresses well and talks with charm. Men admire him; women adore him; tycoons and statesmen are willing to share their secrets with him.
He hates lies, meanness and sham but keeps his temper. He is loyal to his paper and to what he looks upon as his profession; whether it is a profession or merely a craft, he resents attempts to debase it.
When he dies, a lot of people are sorry, and some of them remember him for several days.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://henrykisor.blogspot.com/2009/11/wisdom-of-stanley-walker.html
  2. ^ date of birth October 21, 1898 - died November 25, 1962
  3. ^ US Census 1900 for Lampasas Texas
  4. ^ Sasa Lamp Lampasas High School Yearbook 1915
  5. ^ Cactus Yearbook, University of Texas 1918
  6. ^ US Draft Registration Card 1918
  7. ^ Nunnally Johnson's Forward to Walker's Mrs Astor's Horse
  8. ^ The Sun and New York Herald, August 15, 1920, page 44
  9. ^ The Galveston Daily News,January 5, 1923, page 2
  10. ^ "Stanley Walker Ends Life",Democrat and Chronicle, November 26, 1962, page 2
  11. ^ The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 3, 1926, page 5
  12. ^ Mark Barron's syndicated column, Democrat and Chronicle, June 15, 1930, page 31
  13. ^ "Stanley Walker Ends Life",Democrat and Chronicle, November 26, 1962, page 2
  14. ^ "Stanley Walker Ends Life",Democrat and Chronicle, November 26, 1962, page 2

External links[edit]