Texas Newspaper Foundation to Induct Four Into Hall of Fame

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The Texas Newspaper Foundation on Tuesday announced four inductees into the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame.

Fred V. Barbee Jr., Ben R. Ezzell, Jesse H. Jones and Jerry Tidwell will be inducted Feb. 6 at the Texas Press Association’s 62nd annual midwinter conference in Arlington.

Barbee was editor and publisher of the El Campo Leader-News for 39 years and publisher of the Wharton Journal-Spectator and East Bernard Express. He served as president of the West Texas Press Association, the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association, the Texas Press Association and the South Texas Press Association.

Ezzell started his journalism career while in high school in Quitaque and began a long career as publisher and editor of The Canadian Record in 1948. In 2007, The Canadian Record and the Ezzell family received the Gish Award for Courage, Tenacity and Integrity in Community Journalism by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.

Jones served in national posts during three presidential administrations, including secretary of commerce from 1940-1945 under President Roosevelt. In 1908, Jones was hired to construct the 10-story Houston Chronicle building in exchange for part interest in the paper. In June 1926, Jones obtained the remaining interest and became the sole owner of the Chronicle. Jones remained publisher until his death in 1956.

Jones and his wife, Mary Gibbs Jones, established the Houston Endowment Inc.

Tidwell is a past president of the Texas Press Association and the National Newspaper Association. In 1979, he became publisher of the Hood County News, which today is Texas largest semiweekly.

The Texas Newspaper Foundation created the Hall of Fame in 2006 to recognize exemplary men and women of the newspaper business. The first honorees were inducted in January 2007.

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