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Jack Russell Maguire




[Source: The Philosophical Society of Texas]

Jack Russell Maguire died at his home in Fredericksburg in 2000. Born in 1920, Maguire became a reporter at the early age of sixteen, graduated from the University of Texas, and went on to a career as an Associated Press reporter, public relations executive, director of the UT Ex-Students Association, director of the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, and author.

Maguire loved to tell the story of how he got his first job. At age sixteen, he applied for a summer job with the Denison Herald. The editor turned him down, but Maguire challenged the editor, saying that he deserved a reporting job if he could land a front-page story. The editor agreed. Soon after delivering the challenge, Maguire learned through his father, who worked for the Katy Railroad, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt would go through Denison on his way to the Texas Centennial celebration in Dallas. Maguire wrote the president, telling him of the bet and how much he wanted the job and suggesting that if he would stop in Denison and deliver a short speech, the cub reporter would have his story. Roosevelt apparently liked the idea, for he agreed. Maguire got his front-page story and launched his career as a journalist.

Maguire also worked as a newscaster for a Sherman radio station and as a reporter for the Denton Record-Chronicle before entering North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) to study journalism. Transferring to the University of Texas, he worked for the old International News Service, then for the Associated Press Austin bureau. He was elected editor of the Daily Texan and graduated in 1944. He worked at newspapers in Denison and Saint Louis, Missouri, before returning to Texas to become editor of the Katy Magazine. He later worked as a public relations executive with the Texas & Pacific Railroad before being named public relations director of the Texas Insurance Advisory Association. He resigned that position in 1965 to become director of the University of Texas Ex-Students Association.

Maguire wrote a “Talk of Texas” column for years. It appeared in Texas Highways as well as several newspapers. He also wrote or co-authored nine books and hundreds of magazine articles, mainly about Texas or railroads. He interviewed every president from Roosevelt to Lyndon B. Johnson.

Maguire married the former Patsy Jean Horton of San Antonio in 1945. Following her death in 1985, he married Ann Roddy, whom he had known during his college years.


 About Jack Maguire

[Press release, Denison Heritage Inc., April 1997]

Jack Maguire, journalist-historian extraordinaire, returns to his hometown of Denison for the reunion of his Denison High School Class of 1937. Maguire is author of the column “Talk of Texas,” published each week in the Sunday Herald Democrat. He is retired director of the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio and of the University of Texas Ex-Students Association. His Katy’s Baby: The Story of Denison, Texas (1991), offers a highly readable, comprehensive introduction to the history of our community—a must for newcomers and old-timers alike.

Jack and his wife Ann were sweethearts at DHS, were engaged in college, and worked together as newspaper reporters. Each married someone else, and they lost touch until they met again years later. They were married two months later, in 1986.

The Maguires live in Fredericksburg, where they have been active in historic preservation. Jack headed the fundraising drive for a $3 million revitalization of Marktplatz there and remains on its governing commission. He will speak on April 27, 1997, about how Denison can best utilize its historic resources.

UNT News
Thursday, February 25, 1999

Texas Historian to Speak at UNT Library Event
Denton (UNT) Texas - Journalist Jack Macuire, hailed as "Mr. Texas"...will be the featured speaker at the annual spring banquet of the Friends of the University of North Texas Libraries....Maguire's column on Texas History, "Talk of Texas", is the oldest continuously syndicated newspaper feature in Texas newspapers.  It has appeared in newspapers throughout the state for more than 35 years.  Maguire is also author of 11 books and more than 1,000 articles on Texas history.  He is the past director of the Institute of Texas Cultures at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  In honor of his many contributions to Texas culture, Maguire was made an Admiral of the Texas Navy and Knight of San Jacinto.  He also received the Ima Hogg Award for Historical Achievement.  A graduate of the Universit of Texas at Austin, Maguire also attended North Texas, where he met his wife, Ann.  The Maguires recently donated his manuscripts and their library of 1,100 Texana books to UNT....