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Emile Gauvreau

Emile Gauvreau (1891-1956) was an American journalist, newspaper and magazine editor and author of novels and nonfiction books.

Born in Centerville, Connecticut, he got his start in newspapers at the New Haven Journal-Courier, before moving on in 1916 to the Hartford Courant, as reporter, legislative reporter, Sunday editor, and assistant managing editor, becoming managing editor at the age of 25.[1]

He launched the newspaper's artgravure picture section and its Sunday magazine, and, according to the paper's historian, John Bard McNulty, "developed a strong partiality for the banner headline." The young editor's style suited The Roaring Twenties more than the newspaper known as the "Old Lady of State Street," and led to his dismissal 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, but wrote that he left with a healthy bank account thanks to his Hartford Courant 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 more freelancing for the eccentric magazine publisher, but was surprised to be offered the opportunity to start a daily tabloid newspaper for Macfadden. It was to compete with the New York Daily News, America's first tabloid, which was soon joined by Hearst Daily Mirror.

Macfadden had wanted to call his paper The Truth, but eventually settled for the name New York Evening Graphic, with Gauvreau as managing editor. Along with focusing on sensational crime stories, photos, and Macfadden's health crusades, its experimental policies including 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 a company's stories about a sensational divorce case.

He also 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 For tabloid king Emile Gauvreau, it took a lifetime to slow down. [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. ^ Michael Shapiro, Columbia Journalism Review, 2011,The Paper Chase For tabloid king Emile Gauvreau, it took a lifetime to slow down| https://archives.cjr.org/second_read/the_paper_chase.php