Wes Wise

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Wes Wise
50th Mayor of Dallas
In office
Preceded byJ. Erik Jonsson
Succeeded byAdlene Harrison
Personal details
Born1929 (age 89–90)
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
ProfessionSports journalist

Wes Wise (born 1929) served from 1971 to 1976 as a three-term mayor of Dallas, Texas.[2][3]

Early life and TV news career[edit]

Wise was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.[2] Wise dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen upon the death of his father and begin work at a local radio station in Monroe, Louisiana.[2] Although Wise earned a diploma by passing the high school equivalency test, he never graduated from college.[2]

In the 1940s and 1950s, Wise was a play-by-play sports announcer for Gordon McLendon's Liberty Broadcasting System radio network,[4] which mainly broadcast live recreations of Major League Baseball games by means of broadcasters like Wise following the action via Western Union ticker tape reports, and then relaying the plays to the listening audience in a more lively style that included studio sound effects meant to simulate the ballgames.

Wise went on to work for many years as a sports director at KRLD-TV, a Dallas CBS television affiliate.[4] In 1960, he teamed with Davey O'Brien to call Dallas Cowboys games for CBS.

Kennedy assassination[edit]

During his CBS years, Wise also occasionally covered hard news. In particular, Wise provided on-the-spot coverage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy at the Dealey Plaza in Downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963. [4]

On November 23 at the Texas School Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald had worked, Wise encountered Jack Ruby who expressed concern that Jackie Kennedy might be required to return to Dallas if Oswald were tried for Kennedy's murder.[4][3] Wise was present in the Dallas Municipal Building when Oswald was shot dead.[4] Wise testified as a witness for both the defense and the prosecution at Jack Ruby's trial for the murder of Oswald.[3]

Wise is a co-author of the 2004 memoir When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963.[3] Of Dallas during Kennedy's visit, Wise has said, "Let's face it: At the time, Dallas was considered a hotbed of right-wing hysteria. It served as the regional headquarters of the John Birch Society, and Gen. Edwin Walker - whom many considered a far-out extremist - had moved here. You might remember that Lee Harvey Oswald took a shot at him, too. H.L. Hunt's right-wing radio program originated here. So it was hardly a haven for liberals."[3]

During his two terms as mayor of Dallas, Wise guided Dallas from under the cloud of the assassination and at the same time saved the Texas School Book Depository from imminent destruction, preserving it for further research into the president's murder.[5]

Political career[edit]

Wise was elected to the Dallas City Council in 1969 and then was elected mayor two years later; both are nominally nonpartisan positions.[4][6] Wise did "much during his term to eradicate the bad image Dallas had nationally after the [Kennedy] assassination."[4] Wise resigned midway when he resigned to run for the Democratic nomination in Texas's 5th congressional district, losing to State Representative Jim Mattox.[7]


  1. ^ Huffaker, Bob; Mercer, Bill; Phenix, George; Wise, Wes (2013). "Covering a President Becomes a Nightmare". When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963. Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 9781589798960.
  2. ^ a b c d Atkinson, Jim (January 1975). "The Unauthorized Biography of Wes Wise". D Magazine. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Granberry, Michael (4 April 2011). "Mayors stepped up after Kennedy assassination, moved Dallas from image as 'City of Hate'". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Foote, Ken (February 27, 2012). "History Of DFW Media Personalities Who Ran For Office". dfw.cbslocal.com (CBS 11 DFW). KTVT in Fort Worth, Texas. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  5. ^ Douglass,James W. JFK and the Unspeakbale. Why he died and why it matters. Maryknoll, NY, Orbis Books, 2008, p. 295-298. ISBN 978-1-57075-755-6
  6. ^ "City of Dallas History of Mayors & City Councils" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  7. ^ https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=749174

External links[edit]

Preceded by
J. Erik Jonsson
Mayor of Dallas
Succeeded by
Adlene Harrison