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Emile Gauvreau (1891-1956) was an American journalist, newspaper and magazine editor and author of novels and nonfiction books. He is best-known as editor of two of New York's entertainment and sensation oriented "jazz age" tabloid newspapers.

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Centerville, Connecticut.

CareerEdit

He got his start in newspapers at the New Haven Journal-Courier. In 1916, he moved on to the Hartford Courant, as a reporter, legislative reporter, Sunday editor and assistant managing editor. He became managing editor at age 25.[1]

He launched the newspaper's Artgravure Picture section and its Sunday magazine, and developed a strong partiality for the banner headline. His style was considered to be a prime example of The Roaring Twenties that led to his dismissal from the newspaper in 1924 over a sensational series alleging that medical quacks were operating in the state with credentials from diploma mills. He was asked for his resignation and left with strong finances, thanks to his company stock. [2]

Having helped compensate for a lame leg with exercises from Physical Culture publisher Bernarr Macfadden, and having written confession-style stories for Macfadden's True Story magazine, Gauvreau went to New York to inquire about freelancing for Macfadden publications. He did not expect to be offered the opportunity to start a daily tabloid newspaper for Macfadden, he wrote. It was to compete with the New York Daily News, America's first tabloid, which was soon joined by Hearst New York Daily Mirror. Macfadden had wanted to call his tabloid The Truth, but eventually settled for New York Evening Graphic, with Gauvreau as managing editor.

Along with sensational crime stories, photos, and Macfadden's health crusades, its experimental policies included first-person stories by ghostwriter-assisted newsmakers, and composite photos that illustrated scenes for which the paper could not get a real photograph. In his autobiography, Gauvreau, who had drawn newspaper cartoons in his early days, took both credit and blame for the composograph, and admitted getting carried away with it, creating farcical bedroom scenes to accompany stories about a sensational divorce case.

He took some of the credit for discovering and promoting Graphic staff members Walter Winchell, Ed Sullivan and others. Both Winchell and Gauvreau left the Graphic for Hearst's Daily Mirror, continuing a longtime editor-columnist feud into the 1930s. [3]

Gauvreau's 1935 book about a trip to Russia, What So Proudly We Hailed, got him fired by Hearst, but he continued to write, and later edited a pictorial magazine, Click, for Moses Annenberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

His books, starting with two quasi-autobiographical novels about "tabloidia", include Hot News (1931), The Scandalmonger (1932), What So Proudly We Hailed (1935), Dumbells and Carrot Strips (with Mary Macfadden, 1935), My Last Million Readers (1941), Billy Mitchell: founder of our Air Force and Prophet Without Honor (1942), and The Wild Blue Yonder: Sons of the Prophet Carry On ( with Lester Cohen, 1945).

Gauvreau was profiled by Michael Shapiro for the Columbia Journalism Review in 2011, under the title The Paper Chase.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ John Bard McNulty, Older than the nation, The Life and Times of the Hartford Courant... Oldest newspaper of continuous publication in America. 1964 Pequot Press
  2. ^ Emile Gauvreau, My Last Million Readers, Dutton 1941
  3. ^ Emile Gauvreau, My Last Million Readers, Dutton 1941
  4. ^ "The Paper Chase". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2019-03-28.