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D in the Heart of Texas             

Jerry T. Dealey

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The Elder G. B. Dealey

Early History of Texas
The Europeans and American Settlers
John Neely Bryan – And Other Early Founders
Some Wheeling-Dealing to Grow a City
George Bannerman Dealey
The Dallas Morning News is Born
The Great 1908 Flood
G. B. Promotes Other Early Dallas Growth
The "City of Hate"
Building the ‘Subway’, Triple Underpass, Dealey Plaza
The Other Buildings Around Dealey Plaza
The Elder G. B. Dealey
The Dallas "Citizens Council"
The ‘Right Wing’ Direction of Dallas - "City of Hate" Revisited
A ‘Turn-Around’ for the Dallas Morning News
The Pre-November ‘Hate’ Incidents
Dallas’ Law Enforcement
November 1963, Why Dallas?
Dealey Plaza Changes To-Date

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This photo of G. B. Dealey was taken in 1938, two years after the dedication of Dealey Plaza. He was 79. (From the collections of the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library)

In 1934, when the park that would later be called Dealey Plaza was being started, G. B. Dealey, at 75, was in his later years. He had been training his two sons, Walter A. Dealey and Edward Musgrove “Ted” Dealey, to continue on in the newspaper business. He was grooming Walter to take over the day-to-day operation of the paper, and Ted was being directed into heading the Editorial section. Ted was more of the writer of the two boys, and would later publish a number of books, as well as articles and fiction in such national magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, and Ladies Home Journal. He had spent years as a Morning News political reporter in Austin, as well. Walter was more interested in the business side of the paper, including his brainchild, WFAA radio station, which the Morning News had started in 1922.
However, in mid 1934, Walter Dealey collapsed while at the Morning News offices. He was diagnosed with fatigue and exhaustion, from stress, overwork and general weakness in those hard days of the Great Depression. He spent some time at home recovering, and later returned to work, but in late 1934, he suddenly died. G. B. then focused on making Ted the heir apparent of the Morning News. During his time, Ted would be reporter, staff correspondent, Sunday editor and editorial writer, assistant to the publisher, vice-president, president (1940), and publisher (1960). Over the next few years, G. B. would turn more and more responsibility for the paper over to Ted, although G. B. continued to work until his death, 11 years later.

G. B. received many honors in his later years for the work he had done in Dallas and the Morning News. During his years his civic activities included serving on the board of governors of the American City Planning Institute (1920-21), as vice president of the National Municipal League (1923-24), on the advisory council of the American Planning and Civic Association, and on the national committee of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. He was director of the Children’s Hospital of Texas, and was president of the Family Bureau, a pioneer Dallas social agency, from its inception in 1908. He was also president of the Philosophical Society of Texas, a member of the Texas Press Association, an honorary life member of the Texas State Historical Association, founder (1922) and lifetime president (from 1933) of the Dallas Historical Society, second vice president of the Associated Press (1923-24), an honorary national president of Sigma Delta Chi (1940-41), and an honorary member of Phi Betta Kappa (1943). He received honorary degrees from Southern Methodist University (1921), Austin College (1924) and the University of Missouri (1925), the last of which invited him to accept a gift to its school of journalism from the British Empire Press Union. In addition, the New York Times, and related associations named him “The Dean of American Journalism”.

In 1944, when G. B. was 85, there was a movement among some of his friends and admirers in Britain, to propose that King George VI bestow on him the Order of the British Empire (O. B. E.). However, the family urged these admirers to stop, feeling that the excitement of the award and the overseas trip would over tax his strength. G. B. would have probably insisted on making the trip, even though World War II was in its waning years. The bestowment never occurred.

However, G. B. was always proud of his English and Irish roots. For many of his later years, he carried with him a King George III penny as a lucky charm. He was aware of a family rumor that the family was descended from an illegitimate son of Charles III. His brother, James Quayle had always been proud of this descent, but G. B. said little about it; however, he did carry the penny as a reminder. I have never ascertained the validity of this rumor, nor which ‘root of the tree’ it was based on, but G. B.’s paternal Grandfather, Thomas Dealey, was the Steward of the Earl of Darby’s estates, so there was some contact with ‘titled persons’ in our ancestry.

G. B. Dealey died of a massive coronary occlusion the afternoon of February 26, 1946. He had called the Morning News and told Ted that he would not be in that morning, as he was feeling “poorly”. He asked the housekeeper to call his doctor, who examined him and asked his daughter Maidie to come in. Dealey spoke to his daughter to assure her that everything was going to be all right, and then lost consciousness. Maidie called Ted, Annie and Fannie to come over quickly, but before they could arrive he was gone. His wife, Olivia “Ollie” Allen Dealey, who would attend the dedication of the bronze statue in Dealey Plaza the following year, survived him.

IE150-1.GIF - 6031 BytesD in the Heart of Texas - Table of Contents
03LEFT.JPG - 1910 Bytes The Other Buildings Around Dealey Plaza (Part 3)
03RIGHT.JPG - 1880 Bytes The Dallas "Citizens Council" (Part 1)

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Last edited June 03, 2003