1000 Small Towns

Author Archive: Howard James

About Howard James

Howard Anthony James Who is this character who has chosen, after sixty years in television and newspapers, to depart from his comfort zone and venture out as a blogger on the internet? Why doesn’t he just retire and watch TV, putter around the house, go fishing or grow tomatoes as so many others do after they have wrapped up a fairly long and successful career? Is he restless? Absolutely. He finds sitting around extremely unpleasant. Is he also doing this because of ego? To a substantial degree. There are too many topics he believes the public should know about not being covered by today’s newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations. There is reporting to do on subjects being ignored. Could it be his wide range of interests? Without question. Name a topic and James probably would like to know more about it. Or is it his love for and pride in America. Absolutely. He finds himself e irritated, even disgusted when people without a clue put our country down. He understands that President Barack Obama didn’t grow up in America and had a father from Kenya who verbally bashed America. Obama also says in his book he was friends with Marxists. Now, when Obama and others say or do things that denigrates our country James grows deeply unhappy. Perhaps the fact Howard Anthony James was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1968 is the right place to start in discussing his career. The Pulitzer rather clearly identifies him as a fairly serious journalist who has spent a lifetime gathering and reporting news. Like so many others, James had a paper route as a child. While his father, Howard Sr., was in the South Pacific, including Iwo Jima from the Japanese, James, at the age of seven, began delivering newspapers in Moline, Illinois. After the war, when his father began teaching in Elkhart, Indiana, James delived the Chicago Tribune every morning. At the age of 15 he switched to delivering refrigerators, stoves and other kitchen equipment for Borneman’s hardware. Later he worked after school unloading boxcars and on the production line from 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at a Whitehall Pharmaceutical Company. While in high school in Elkhart, he took a three year class that involved radio broadcasting. His start in television was in the summer of 1954, when his home town television station, WSJV-TV, hired him for a summer on-the-air job after he finished his freshman year at Michigan State University. At Michigan State he worked at Schaffers Bakery from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. and carried full college schedule. Later he commuted to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, then worked for WJIM]- TV and radio in Lansing reporting, writing and reading the first local newscast at 6:00 a.m.every morning. During his junior year in college, in 1956, he was hired as the news anchor at WDMJ-TV in Marquette, Michigan, the first station in the Upper Peninsula. James signed the station on the air, then later returned to graduate from Michigan State. After graduation he launched his own television news service, working out of the capitol building, serving WWJ-TV in Detroit, WXYZ radio in the motor city, WJRT-TV in Flint, and WOOD in Grand Rapids. Growing disenchanted with the egotism he found in television, he returned to Marquette to report for the local daily newspaper and soon was hired as a reporter by the Chicago Tribune. In 1965 he became Midwest Bureau Chief of the Christian Science Monitor.