Paul Riddick · 1974
Paul Riddick, born in Menominee, Michigan, December 22, 1888, lived in Indiana most of his life. After graduating from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1910, his love for journalism made him one of Indiana’s most “up front men.” His desk in the LaGrange, Indiana Publishing Company attested to this. Riddick’s desk at the publishing firm was right in front of the door and he was the first to take the complaints and what compliments there were.
With nine other men from DePauw University, Riddick founded the national journalism fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi. The founders of this organization decided in 1909 at the outset that the fraternity should be honorary, as distinguished from the usual pattern of social Greek-letter fraternities. The idea was to support a truthful, honorable press, one not dominated by commercialism. By planting journalistic ideals in student newspapermen they could make great strides towards their goal.
Riddick said of Sigma Delta Chi:
“We did have some sincere desire to set high principles of professional ethics and to inspire college men to go out into the field and serve the world in this calling in an honest and straight forward way. Any other motive was to hook up real newspaperdom to the college men who were preparing for the profession. It was the intention from the first to name a large number of eminent newspapermen as honorary or as associate members and thus create a fraternity with actual journalists well mixed in. That, I believe, has worked out nicely and many big newspapermen feel honored to be named associate members and to take part in the events of Sigma Delta Chi. It was also the idea from the first to make Sigma Delta Chi a big national fraternity blanketing the country.”
In 1928 Riddick purchased the LaGrange Standard and acquired partial interest in the LaGrange News. He guided the fledgling LaGrange Publishing Company through the years of the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War before retiring in 1958.
He was president of the Indiana Republican Editorial Association during the beginning Eisenhower era. He was Citizen of the Year in 1967 and was elected to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 1974.
Riddick died June 17, 1980. He was married and his wife and daughter survive him. They still live in Indiana.