|Born||John Reagan McCrary, Jr.
October 13, 1910
|Died||July 29, 2003
New York City, New York
Phillips Exeter Academy
|Occupation||journalist, P.R. specialist, inventor of the talk show genre for television and radio|
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Brisbane, daughter
of Arthur Brisbane
John Reagan McCrary (October 13, 1910–July 29, 2003), better known as Tex McCrary, was an American journalist and public relations specialist who invented the talk show genre for television and radio, and appeared on radio and TV with his wife, Jinx Falkenburg.
Life and career
Born in Calvert, Texas, McCrary graduated from the Phillips Exeter Academy in 1928 and from Yale University in 1932, where he served as chairman of campus humor magazine The Yale Record. He was a member of both Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and Skull and Bones, where his club nickname was "Sancho Panza".:125
In 1934, McCrary married Brisbane's daughter Sarah. During their honeymoon in the Bahamas, McCrary designed the format of the Daily Mirror tabloid, which he was to edit until he joined the US Army Air Corps (later the US Air Force) in a PR capacity. He flew many bomber sorties with the 8th Air Force until involvement in the invasion of Sicily and later the execution of Mussolini.
McCrary was then tasked with putting together a team of airborne war correspondents to cover the Twentieth Air Force. The press corps toured Europe in the weeks after V-E Day in a custom B-17 fitted with high-powered shortwave radio equipment. They started with Paris and moved on to examine first-hand the destruction from the Allied bombing campaigns on Hamburg and Dresden. That September, they were among the first Americans to enter Hiroshima after the atomic bombing. Over the following few months the group toured Asia, making stops in China, French Indochina, Thailand, Burma, the Malay States, and Java.
A staunch Republican, McCrary played a major role in convincing Dwight Eisenhower to run for the U.S. presidency in 1952. According to Richard Kluger's The Paper, McCrary was responsible for John Hay Whitney's purchase of the former The New York Herald Tribune. He died in New York City.
- Phillips Exeter Academy Alumni Records
- Kelly, Charles J. (2009). Tex McCrary: Wars-Women-Politics, An Adventurous Life across the American Century. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books. p. 6.
- Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-72091-7.
- Severo, Richard (July 30, 2003). "Tex McCrary Dies at 92; Public Relations Man Who Helped Create Talk-Show Format". New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- Kelly, Charles J. (2009). Tex McCrary: Wars, Women, Politics: An Adventurous Life Across the American Century. University Press of America. p. 82. ISBN 0761844562.
- Overseas Press Club of America (1948). Phillips, Joseph B.; Thompson, Craig; Hensell, Hester E.; Chaplin, W. W.; Doerflinger, William M., eds. As We See Russia. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. p. 304.
- Kluger, Richard. The Paper: the life and death of the New York Herald Tribune. Richard Kluger with the assistance of Phyllis Kluger. New York, NY: Knopf, 1986. p.801; ISBN 0-394-50877-7
- Charles J. Kelly, Tex McCrary: Wars, Women, Politics: An Adventurous Life Across the Twentieth Century (Hamilton Books 2009, ISBN 978-0-7618-4455-6)