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The Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame

     The Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame was established in 1985 by the Rhode Island Press Association to honor journalists who have been influential in their profession. The first members were inducted in the fall of 1986.

     The members of the Hall of Fame are chosen by a committee of the press association and approved by the board. Copies of the plaques awarded to inductees are displayed in the lobby of the Chafee building on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston.


   1986-1989          1990-1999          2000-2009          2010-2019          2020-Present

Class of 1989

Chon Day (1907-2000)

     Chon Day, a cartoonist who made generations of magazine readers chuckle over life's amusing situations, spent a lifetime developing a sense of humor that is as valid today as it was when he first started drawing. 

     Born in Chatham, N.J., Chauncey Addison Day first started out in engineering school but eventually entered the New York Art Student League courses with the expressed goal of wanting to end up "drawing beautiful girls."

     In his own words he ended up "drawing crooked lines with a sense of humor."

That sense of humor was recognized first by editors of Depression-era magazines who paid all of $5 or $6 for a Chon Day cartoon—"Chon: is a shortened version of his old nickname, Chaun. It wasn't long before his work caught the eyes of editors on more established magazines such as the Ladies Home Journal, Collier's, Look, Life and Good Housekeeping.

     Moving to Westerly, R.I. In 1937, Day experimented with his style and found that much of his subtle humor worked well with monks and friars as characters. An editor at Collier's was particularly impressed with the friar humor and urged Day to develop 

the strip. Later when that editor moved to Look magazine, Day's Brother Sebastian strip made its debut in 1954, featuring a friar who never said anything but who always provided smiles and chuckles for millions of readers until that magazine's demise in 1971.

     Day was honored repeatedly by his peers and admirers. He was named Best Gag Cartoonist in 1956, 1962 and 1970 and received an award for Best Special Features in 1969. In 1972, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame November 1989.

Dorothy Whipple Burgess (1914-2005)

     Dorothy Whipple Burgess has been recognized by her peers, her community, learned societies and institutions of higher education for her many contributions as a newspaper publisher. She has been commended especially for her work in the areas of the environment, education, historic preservation and the arts.

     A graduate of Skidmore College and the Prince School of Retailing at Simmons College, she always excelled as a writer.

     A teacher first, she left the classroom to pursue professional opportunities which led to an executive position in the international wool industry.

     But, in the truest sense of the word she never cease being an educator. As owner, editor and publisher of the Observer, she became an advocate of numerous cause, using the editorial page of the paper and her own voice at public forums to inform the community about issues of vital concern. Whether it was insisting that vocational students be exposed to Shakespeare, as she did when she was a teacher, or insisting in editorials and showing in feature stories that a community cannot prosper without 

awareness of its heritage, its environment and the aesthetic dimension in life, she has been a tireless champion of civic and community causes.

     She has been a leading advocate in the move to bring a wastewater treatment plant to the town of Smithfield, to preserve the historic center of the village of Greenville, to establish historical and ecological organizations in northern Rhode Island and to promote environmental conservation throughout the state.

     Rhode Island College awarded her an honorary doctor of public service degree in 1979 and she has been the recipient of numerous other awards and honors throughout her career.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame November 1989.

Class of 1988

Michael P. Metcalf (1933-1987)

     Michael P. Metcalf, descendent of a family that was a dominant force in the development of the Providence Journal Company, left a lasting mark on the company and its newspapers even though he was publisher for less than a decade.

     A native Rhode Islander, Metcalf began his career in journalism working summers in various departments at the Journal. After earning degrees at Harvard and Stanford universities, he served two years in the Navy as an officer and in 1958 started a two-year stint as a reporter for the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. From there he joined the Philadelphia Bulletin as an advertising salesman for two years before joining the Providence Journal in the advertising department in 1962. A year later, he moved to the company's administrative offices as assistant to the president, then John C.A. Watkins.

     He was elected executive vice president of the company in 1971 and in 1974 succeeded Watkins as president. He succeeded Watkins as publisher in 1979 and as chairman of the board in 1985. He died in office after a bicycle accident.

     Under his leadership, the Journal Company underwent unprecedented growth and changes. He diversified the company's 

holdings and delved into new areas of communications.

     In Rhode Island, Metcalf shunned the limelight but nevertheless was involved in a variety of community and institutional activities.

     An ardent environmentalist he and his newspapers championed the enhancement and protection of the state's natural resources, particularly Narragansett Bay.

     Always interested in new technology, he ushered in the age of computers on his newspapers and, shortly before his death, directed the company in building a new printing plant in Providence.

     Metcalf's views shaped a largely conservative editorial page in his papers, stressing fiscal responsibility at all levels of government, a strong national defense and the effectiveness of the market economy.

     His interest in the major social, economic and environmental issues of the day led him and the company to co-sponsor annual symposiums with Brown University.

     Metcalf's tenure as publisher was relatively brief in years. Yet in that time he was able to instill and reinforce onto the Journal Company his commitments and those of his predecessors—excellence, fairness, independence and service to the Rhode Island community for years to come.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame November 1988.

Buell W. Hudson (1902-1966)

     Buell Wentworth Hudson, Publisher of the Woonsocket Call for 25 years, was the epitome of a dedicated newspaperman who cared as much for his community as he did for his paper.

     A native of Woonsocket, he spent a lifetime pushing for a better newspaper in a better Woonsocket and often backed his words with personal action.

     Born in a newspaper family, he phoned in his first news tip to The Call when he was 6 and had his first material published when he was 9. He worked for The Call afternoons and summers and, after graduating from Yale University, joined the paper full-time as credit manager.

     He held a variety of positions with the paper and became publisher in 1941 upon the death of his father, Samuel E. Hudson. In 1956, he also assumed the position of editor.

     He once observed that he saw as his first duty the maintenance of an independent, strong and successful newspaper, 

secondly the use of the newspaper and his own efforts to improve the community, and thirdly to make Woonsocket and The Call favorably known beyond its circulation area.

     He was deeply involved in his community, serving on the city's planning board, sponsoring efforts to aid the needy, the physically handicapped and the aged and joining the boards of various non-profits and civic organizations in the city.

     He was a hands-on publisher who regarded his employees as a family. Active in the Associated Press, he served a term as second vice president of the AP and three terms on its auditing committee. He was active in state, regional and national newspaper groups.

      His paper continually pushed for a more progressive Woonsocket by championing a revised city charter, a capital improvement project that resulted in new schools, new bridges and a flood control program and an economic development program that resulted in new industrial growth.

     He was cited many times during his career for his efforts with the paper and for his community leadership. On one such occasion, a speaker summed up Hudson's career by noting the publisher had "given generously of his time and his effort to make Woonsocket a better place in which to work and in which to live." In the process, the speaker concluded, Hudson was "in the forefront of Woonsocket affairs, striving for those things a progressive, forward-looking community must seek."

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame November 1988.

Paule S. Loring (1899-1968)

     Paul Stetson Loring, a Maine native who never had any formal art training, spent most of his life creating a special chapter in the history of editorial cartooning, a chapter that remains as indelible today as the bottle of India ink that was always at his side. 

He quit school at age 13 and took a variety of odd jobs, but it was a childhood hobby of his, copying cartoons, that led to his being hired as cartoonist for a factory home organ in Worcester, Mass.

     Four years later he landed a job as cartoonist and news artist with the Springfield (Mass.) Union and his big break came when Calvin Coolidge, then vice president, visited and Lorring sat in the audience, drawing sketch after sketch. A pleased editor published a whole page of Loring's sketches and a career was launched.

     When the Union was sold in 1929, Loring joined the Providence Journal-Bulletin where he remained as editorial cartoonist for 33 years until his retirement. 

     Moving to Wickford, he renew his Maine-bred love for the sea, boats and fishermen and many of his cartoons reflected those themes. Editors were continually amazed at the speed with which he could produce an editorial cartoon. Often he anticipated editors on news topics and produced what they wanted even before they had a chance to make a request.

Loring's cartoons, both on the editorial pages and elsewhere with news stories and columns, drew a regular following. Artistically, they were simple in form but the quickly drawn lines and jots always delivered clear commentary with wit and humor in a homespun manner, much like the artist himself.

     Published weekly in magazines, his marine art, sketches and watercolors sold briskly from his waterfront Wickford home, dubbed "Lorring's Shanty."

     He pooh-poohed printed critical acclaim that often dubbed him "near-genius" and simply went on with his daily production of cartoons and other works of art even after retirement. To the end, he denied he was a "real artist," but generations of newspaper readers and art lovers will always believe otherwise.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame November 1988.

George H. Utter (1854-1912)

     George Herbert Utter, founder of the Westerly Sun, served many years in public office including one term as governor of Rhode Island and one term in Congress.

     Born in New Jersey, he and his family moved to Westerly when he was a boy. During his school and college years, he learned the printer's trade with his father, George B. Utter, and uncle, J. Herbert Utter, in the office of the Narragansett Weekly.

     After graduating from Amherst College, he became a reporter for the Narragansett Weekly and gradually took over the responsibility of publisher. After his uncle died, he and his father ran the newspaper and he took over as sole proprietor in 1982.

     A year later, he founded the Westerly Daily Sun. The Narragansett Weekly was continued as well for several months.

     From the beginning, the Sun was widely read and influential. It also had the distinction of being the only daily newspaper in the country published on Sunday afternoons. Utter, a devout Seventh Day Baptist, considered Saturday the Sabbath and hence the paper to this day is not printed on Saturdays. This publishing schedule brought the Sun a place in journalistic history on Dec. 

7, 1941 when it was the first newspaper in the country to publish the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning.

     A gifted orator, Utter always claimed his speaking skills were developed as superintendent of the Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist Sabbath School. His speaking ability and his grasp of public issues soon attract the attention of the Westerly Republican Party. His first public office as on the Westerly School Committee and later he was sent to the Rhode Island General Assembly as representative of Westerly, later becoming speaker of the house. He also served in the state Senate, as Secretary of State, Lieutenant Governor and finally Governor from 1905 to 1907.

     Four years later he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. With his oratory abilities widely recognized, he was called upon to speak around the country especially for Republican candidates. His health failed down the arduous round of speeches he made on behalf of Presidential candidate William H. Taft. He died in 1912 and is buried in Westerly where his paper, the Westerly Sun, is still published by his grandsons.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame November 1988.

Class of 1987

Robert W. McCreanor (1914-1990)

     Robert W. McCreanor distinguished himself in journalism, both as a scholar and a working newsman for more than 40 years.

     Born to a family of coal miners in Ohio, McCreanor worked ten years in the mines after high school graduation and left to join the Army Air Corps in World War II. In the late 1940s he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Ohio University and later served there as journalism teacher and alumni publications editor until 1954 when he joined the faculty at the University of Rhode Island. In 1960, he was appointed the first chairman of the newly formed Department of Journalism. 

     A fierce guardian of the English language, he insisted that copy have grace, clarity and accuracy of fact and syntax and he instilled those ideals in scores of students, many of whom said they could remember, decades later, McCreanor's uncompromising demand for accuracy.

     He left academia in 1962 to run a newspaper himself and for ten years served as editor and general manager of the Pawtuxet

Valley Daily Times. Later he joined the Providence Journal as a copy editor until his retirement seven years later.  

     Even in retirement, he was active as author of the Providence Sunday Journal's "Growing Older" column in which he was not afraid to speak his mind on issues chastising government roundly whenever he felt it was failing his constituency.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1987.

Wilbur L. Doctor 

     For more than 40 years after he signed on with the Newport Daily News in 1946, Wilbur L. Doctor was a force to reckon with in Rhode Island's world of journalism. 

     A consummate, if cantankerous, professional, Doctor insisted on clarity, accuracy, and grammatical perfection and helped raise the standard of his craft and art, not only in the columns of newspapers themselves, but also in the minds of his former students.

     A graduate of Boston Latin School, Doctor moved from the Daily News to the Providence Journal where in 16 years on rewrite he became legendary for his ability to turn out crisp, colorful and accurate copy from the fragmented and often confusing accounts of reporters in the field. 

     In 1965, he left the newsroom for the classroom, joining the journalism faculty at the University of Rhode Island where he became one of the most popular, most respected teachers on campus. His value was recognized not only by his students but by his colleagues as well:In 1979, he was named chairman of the journalism department, a post he held until his retirement in 1983.

     In his retirement he pursued his love for the printed word by restoring and operating antique presses on which he publishes graceful booklets and pamphlets that reflect his droll sense of humor and his respect for fine typography.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1987.

Frederick J. Wilson Jr. (1916-1978)

     In July of 1946, Fred Wilson purchased the Narragansett Times from the Gillies family of Wakefield, and started a change in the evolution of the weekly newspaper that had far reaching effects on community journalism in New England. He was one of the first publishers to cover "hard" news in addition to the features, social events, and commentary of local correspondents. His newspapers always took a stand on community issues and reflected his opinions on the editorial pages. He was a pioneer in the technological change from letterpress to offset printing.

     He was born in Newport, R.I. and attended Rhode Island State College, receiving a B.S. In 1939 and an M.S. in Economics in 1941. He immediately volunteered for the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific, earning seven battle stars aboard the aircraft carrier Saratoga, attaining the rank of Lt. Commander. He attended Harvard Business School in 1945 while serving as chief accounting officer for the U.S. Navy in Boston. 

     Despite a lack of prior newspaper experience, he realized that he wanted to settle in southern Rhode Island and the 

Narragansett Times was for sale. He also loved to read and writing came easy so the transition from economics to journalism was a natural one.

     Under his leadership, the Narragansett Times and the Standard-Times won numerous regional and national awards for excellence in journalism, photography and typography. He was a former director and vice president of the New England Press Association and the Rhode Island Press Association. He was the co-founder and first president of the Rhode Island Newspaper Group (RING).      In 1979, he was posthumously awarded the "Goddard Award" by the Rhode Island Newspaper Association for his contributions toward the excellence of journalism in Rhode Island Newspapers.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1987.

Albert R. Johnson 

     Starting out as a dictation typist in 1929, Albert R. Johnson went on to become a legend in the newsroom at the Providence Journal, first as a crack rewrite man and later as a record-setting city editor.

     A graduate of Bryant and Stratton College of Business, Johnson's penchant for reporting was obvious to those around him and in four months he was made a reporter. Two years later he was made night manager for the Journal's Pawtucket Bureau where he covered one of the wildest political machines the state has ever known.

     As head rewrite man in the Journal's newsroom for 16 years, he developed and instilled in others a no-nonsense approach to newsgathering—get the story, get it right and get it fast.

     That same credo was carried over when he became the paper's city editor in 1953. To new reporters he seemed to have a gruff exterior and he struck fear into the hearts of many a novice who miscued. But those who came to know him came to know the down-the-middle fairness that was in his character, the reassuring criticism he offered in his own, quiet manner and the 

invaluable lessons that aided many a career.

     For 33 years as city editor, a record at the Journal, he adeptly handled the complicated task of keeping track of reporters, problems, stories and editions. When he retired in 1986, hundreds of his co-workers and proteges—many of whom work far away from the Journal's newsroom—turned out to pay tribute to a man who over a career-spanning 56 years became an "institution" at the Providence Journal.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1987.

Charles A. Greene (1823-1899)

     Charles A. Greene who published the Bristol Phoenix for 31 years, was the first president of the Rhode Island Press Association.

     A native Rhode Islander, he spent early school years in East Greenwich and at the age of 17 joined the Phoenix as an apprentice under William H.S. Bayley, who had established the newspaper two years prior in 1837.

     Later he worked as a compositor on Providence newspapers and also on the Tribune in New York.

     In 1842, Colonel Greene married Phebe James Burgess and they had five children. 

     In 1862, he purchased the Bristol Phoenix from the Bayley estate and remained editor and publisher until he sold the paper 31 years later. When the Rhode Island Press Association was founded, he served as its president for two years.

     He served as court clerk and held numerous other minor posts in the town of Bristol. He was also a member of the General Assembly, served as a Bristol County sheriff and was elected to the town council in Bristol, serving the last year of his term as 

president. In addition, he commanded the Bristol Artillery on two separate occasions of several years duration each. 

     Colonel Greene is buried in Bristol.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1987.

Samuel S. Foss (1821-1879)

     Samuel S. Foss, regarded as the "father of Woonsocket journalism," lived a century ago but his works and visage are still remembered in the city he labored to improve.

     A native of West Bolston, Mass., where his father operated a general store, Foss and his family moved to Slatersville and later he received his first taste of newspapers as a 16-year-old apprentice printer on The Weekly Patriot, Woonsocket's first newspaper. He eventually contributed poems and articles to the paper and four years later, was part owner and editor of The Patriot.

     In 1848, the name of the paper was changed to the Weekly Patriot and Rhode Island Register and in 1876 he founded the Daily Patriot.

     Foss was one of the first editors to hire "local correspondent" in neighboring towns to broaden coverage and to compete with another daily, he installed a telegraph line between Providence and Woonsocket. At his peak his combined papers had a 

circulation of 26,000.

     As an editor he championed libraries was credited with being the motivating force behind the establishment of Woonsocket's first public library. He also promoted civic improvements in his paper and crusading energetically against slavery and intemperance.

     Samuel Foss is well remembered in Woonsocket where he established a reputation of being liberal and civic-minded. After his death, a building was erected in 1887 as the Foss Memorial Building. The building bore a bas-relief of Samuel Foss and while that building is long gone, the face of the "father of Woonsocket journalism" now is part of the exterior wall of the Woonsocket Call.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1987.

Class of 1986

Lawrence Howard (1918-1985)

     Lawrence Howard, associate managing editor for state news for the Providence Journal Co., not only believed that a large metropolitan daily had to provide strong local news coverage—he nurtured that concept for much of his career.

     A native of Bellows Falls, Vt., he was a graduate of Marietta College and later studied professional writing at Columbia University.

     He began his newspaper career in 1941 on the Bellows Falls Times, served in the Army in World War II and then joined the Rutland (Vt.) Herald where he was city editor and acting managing editor.

     He joined the Journal-Bulletin in 1954 and spent years covering the General Assembly. Named state news editor in 1966, he was commended by both parties in the State Senate for his coverage of the legislature. 

     In 1971, he was named associate managing editor for state news, supervising a network of 11 suburban news bureaus. An outspoken champion of local news, he urged the development of sources and encouraged simple, clean writing. He was credited 

with assembling a solid staff of suburban news reporters.

     He died in Yerevan, Armenia while on a tour of the Soviet Union with a group of New England newspaper editors. It was his second trip on a mission to promote better understanding between the U.S. And U.S.S.R., a project on which he wrote extensively.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1986.

Andrew P. Palmer (1908-1981)

     For 50 years in Woonsocket, the names of Andrew P. Palmer and the Woonsocket Call were nearly synonymous. A native of Woonsocket, Mr. Palmer graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology and returned home to start a life-long career with his hometown newspaper. He was first hired as mechanical superintendent and later became general manager of the Call.

     He inaugurated and developed the paper's first photo department and became the first photo editor. He specialized in picture stories especially in the Call's circulation area and was delighted when a group of newspaper contest judges cited the paper for it's "over the back-fence journalism."

     Mr. Palmer became publisher of the Call in 1966, a position he held until his retirement in 1981.

     Over the years, he served in scores of civic and charitable organizations and several professional journalism groups. He received numerous awards from his peers including in 1976 the designation of "Editor of the Year" by the New England region of the National Press Photographers Association. He maintained a keen interest in firefighting and over the years was bestowed 

honorary memberships in many fire departments.

     As he neared his retirement, the city and its people he served throughout his life bestowed numerous honors on him including placing his name on a park in an urban renewal project.

     The Union St. Jean Baptiste, the largest fraternal organization in the city and the nation, named Mr. Palmer an honorary member in 1979, only the second of non-French descent to be so honored.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1986.

Roswell S. Bosworth (1898-1999)

     Throughout his life, Roswell S. Bosworth was recognized as one of the most successful publishers of community newspapers in Rhode Island.

     A graduate of Colt Memorial High School in Bristol, he went to Brown University where he, at 19, was the youngest member of his graduating class.

     He worked for a bank overseas for a while, taught school in Providence and Fall River and was a principal of a school in Little Compton, but he found his true avocation in 1928 when he became publisher and editor of the Bristol Phoenix, a paper he once delivered as a paperboy.

     During his newspaper career, his company founded three more weekly newspapers, the Barrington Times, the Warren Times-Gazette and the Sakonnet Times.

     In 1935, he began a personal column called "This & That from Here & There" and at the time of his induction into this Hall of 

Fame, it was believed to be the longest-running personal column in the country.

     He was selected to attend the First Congress of Portuguese Communities in Lisbon in 1964 and spent years visiting and writing about Portugal, the home country of many of the readers of his newspapers.

     He served as president of the Rhode Island Press Association, director of the New England Press Association and on numerous civic, charitable and statewide organizations.

     He was instrumental in locating a new campus in Bristol for Roger Williams College, of which he was a trustee and received numerous awards including the Man of the Year award from the Dom Louis Filipe Society in Bristol and the Paul Harris Fellowship from his Rotary Club for his career in journalism.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1986.

David Patten (1888-1975)

     David Patten, dubbed "The Rhode Island Roarer," by his peers in the newspaper world because of the prominent role he played in the affairs of the Associated Press, was managing editor of the Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin from 1946 until his retirement in 1953.

     Born in Boston, he attended Wesleyan University for two years before quitting to pursue two loves—farming and writing. He pursued the former in Little Compton for a few years, but needing more income for his young family, he decided to try reporting, first for the Fall River News, then at the Journal in 1918. He worked the federal and political beats until becoming editor in 1942 of the Evening Bulletin. A year later, he became managing editor of the paper, a post he held until both the Journal and the Bulletin came under his management. 

     He constantly urged his staff to use short sentences, to derive color from verbs not adjectives and to write "nervously." He set the standards for organizing Election Night coverage based on the philosophy that interpreting election figures was more 

important than totals. He was regarded as an inspiration to generations of young journalists.

     He was a driving force in the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Associated Press Managing Editors Association.

     On retirement he wrote several articles on the political history of Rhode Island and a number of books including one on Little Compton, where his ancestors came from and where, in his youth, he discovered that newspapers were his rightful pursuit. 

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1986.

Ann Franklin (1696-1763)

     Ann Franklin is recognized as the first woman to print a newspaper in New England — perhaps America.

     At age 27, she married James Franklin, publisher of the New England Courant in Boston and her life forever more revolved around printing. She was not only the wife of a printer but also mother of a printer, sister-in-law to Colonial America's most famous printer, Benjamin Franklin, and became a printer herself.

     In 1727, she and her husband moved to Newport and established the first press in the Rhode Island colony. They had five children, all of whom eventually worked in the publishing establishment. 

     They published the Perpetual Almanac in 1730 and 1732 and Ann was given the task of setting the intricate type and rules.

     Her husband died in 1735 and she, eventually joined by her son, James Jr., continued the business. In 1758, they started publishing the Newport Mercury, the nation's oldest newspaper which is owned and published today by the Newport Daily News.        The firm had printing contracts with the colony, including producing the colony's currency.

     Her son died in 1762 but she continued the business, eventually forming a partnership with Samuel Hall. When she died one year later, the Newport Mercury wrote she was "a woman of great integrity and uprightness in her station and conversation, and was well beloved in the town."

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame October 1986.

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