Fairley, Bill 2000-06-27

From SWC Oral History Collection
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bill Fairley, a resident of Ft. Worth, Texas, discusses his career as a journalist in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area. He also talks about his service in the military and his experiences in journalism.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Bill Fairley

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: June 27, 2000

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 1 hour


Tape 1, Side 1: Fairley, Bill, b. 1927 in Amarillo, Texas, Six months later his father was transferred to Ft. Worth, Texas, Education, Ft. Worth public schools, Graduated from Arlington Heights - 1944, Attended North Texas Agricultural College for three months, Lived in dorms, Military, Drafted into the army – April 1945, Sworn in on June 20, 1945, Served 17 months, Discharged when the war was over, October 1946 – he went home, Education (again), Texas Christian University – 1947, Wanted a journalism degree, Had several part-time jobs to pay for his education, Internship with Ft. Worth Press – 1947 – 1948, Graduated 1949, Career, Worked full time at Ft. Worth Press after graduating, Began working at Star Telegram, Texas Christian University, Opinions, Good internship program, 1st intern in 1947, Career (again), Star Telegram – 1950 – 1983, Jobs, News, Features, Obituaries, Requirements for working at Star Telegram, Everyone had to start out at obituaries, Everyone had to have previous experience as a journalist, Marketing – 1959 (Promotion Dept.), Promote advertising, circulation, and research, Approached to take over until retirement, Owners of Star Telegram, Carter Family, Sold in 1974 to Capitol Cities Communications, After retirement worked for old T.C.U. journalism professor – Paul Riley, Public Relations Firm, Handled important clients, Paul Riley d. 1989, Wife disposed of the company, Education (again), Arlington Heights High School, Pascal High School, Ginger Rogers – Journalism student, Won a screen test for Hollywood, Selected by Fred Astaire, Alan Bean, John Denver played at Country and Western clubs, T.C.U. Journalism, Basement – Journalism newspaper room, Wednesday labs, Distributed a weekly paper to students every Friday, Bill Fairley covered the history and government sections, Students edited one another’s work, Anne Pearson (worked for History dept.) – helped him out, Students were also required to turn in a special feature and an editorial, “Picked up passing by” – name of a column, Included witty sayings heard around campus, Funny occurrences, One student sent some in to Reader’s Digest for $100, Paul Riley, Characteristics, Ambitious, Proud, Assignments at Star Telegram, Interviewed flood victims, Ft. Worth flood, 16 deaths, Covered court cases, Press room, Feature stories, Zoo, Queen Tuck – Dancing elephant, Picked up by Time Magazine, Worked on copy desk, J.F.K. Assassination, Took phone calls from 11:00 am. – 10:00 pm., Stories form reporters directly on the scene, Head wound, Speech he covered at the Texas Hotel, Greatest speech, 1,000 people attended at the Crystal Ballroom, Jackie Kennedy, Walked in late to the speech, J.F.K. make a small joke about it, J.F.K. was introduced by Vice President Johnson, Description

Tape 1, Side 2: Assignments (continued), Worst assignments, Deaths, Rape victims, Cook County, 9 yr. Old girl brutally raped, He interviewed her father, Preparation for trauma victim interviews, Something that was learned from experience, Ft. Worth flood (again), Interviewed a mother that lost her 16 yr. Old son, Flood wrecked their house, Son’s body was found in Arlington, Texas, During the interview she still had hope that her son was alive, Police Reporter, Opinions, Obituaries (again), Interviewed the family of a marine killed in Korea, Halle Brown, Carter Family – Star Telegram, September 1950 – 1st month working, Newcomers had to go down to the press room and make sure there were no errors, Bill Fairley looked over the city edition, Pressure, Nearly fainted the first time he met Mr. Carter, Experience with Mr. Carter, Shared an elevator with him in 1953, Mr. Carter Jr. took over after his father’s death, Characteristics, Modest, Kind man, Died of a heart attack while driving, Star Telegram, Press Parties, A job at Star Telegram was a job for life, Only one pay cut – Depression Era, Stories

Range Dates: 1927-2000

Bulk Dates: 1950-1990

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.