Frank R. Ford · 1983
The following is a letter nominating Ford for the Hall of Fame.
January 14, 1983
To Members of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Association Board of Directors:
It was sheer greed for money that lured Frank R. Ford into the newspaper business – never mind that it was $6 a week.
The time was in the early 1900s in Marietta, Ohio, which is near Ford’s home town of Findlay. As the story goes, young Frank was earning $5 a week working in an oil field supply company. He was assigned to the company’s junk department, sorting scrap iron, empty bottles and old overshoes.
It seems the editor of The Marietta Register Leader approached the youth and offered to pay him $6 a week if he went to work for the newspaper.
Frank jumped at the opportunity, started to work as a cub reporter, and began interviewing cops, deputy sheriffs, undertakers, postmasters and real estate agents. He even met the early morning train (which arrived at 5:30 a.m.) to gather “personals” for his stories.
It was the start of a long and distinguished journalistic career that did not end until his 1965 retirement in Washington, where he had served as editor and chief editorial writer of the Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance. During his career, which spanned half of a century, Ford specialized in covering economic and political news. A well-read and literate man, Ford also could write incisive editorials that contributed to the building of a better community.
In between, Ford was a reporter on The Columbus Citizen, served as editor of The Evansville Press from 1935 to 1951, and later, for five years, as editor of another Scripps-Howard newspaper, The San Francisco News.
Ford succeeded Fredrick Romer Peters as the second editor of The Press, continuing and strengthening the tradition of dedicated, tough-minded Press editors who have led our newspaper for 77 years. Ford now lives in retirement in Evansville, and, at 83, shoots a fine golf game, a reminder, perhaps, that he was never a one-dimensional newspaper editor.
We respectfully submit Frank R. Ford for membership in the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.
William W. Sorrels