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They worked here

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: Worked as a reporter for a little more than six months from fall 1917 through spring 1918. Won the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

RICK ATKINSON: Reporter from 1977 through 1983. Won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for national reporting; also won a Pulitzer for history for his 2002 book, An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943.

FRANK BARHYDT: Worked two years in mid-1960s as police and general assignment reporter; screenwriter with director Robert Altman for the films “Kansas City” and “Short Cuts.”

COURTNEY RYLEY COOPER: Pre-World War I police reporter; later crime author and frequent contributor to the Saturday Evening Post.

RUSSEL CROUSE: Reporter on the sports and news desks from 1912 to 1917; co-author, with Howard Lindsay, of Broadway plays “Life with Father,” “Arsenic and Old Lace” and the libretto for “The Sound of Music.”

WALT DISNEY: With older brother Roy, he delivered the Star and Times to subscribers on a midtown route from 1911 to 1917. In 1919, Walt Disney applied for a cartoonist position at the newspaper but was not hired. Months later he took a job at a Kansas City film advertising company and learned the fundamentals of animation.

WILSON HICKS: Copy editor in the World War I era; Hemingway complained about his editing. By 1952, Hicks was executive editor of Life magazine and purchased rights to Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea for $40,000.

O.B. KEELER: Reporter for sports and news desks from 1911 to 1913; became known as the biographer of legendary golfer Bobby Jones.

FRANK K. KELLY: Reporter from 1937 to 1941; novelist, science-fiction author and speechwriter for President Harry S. Truman during 1948 “whistlestop” campaign.

PHIL A. KOURY: Reporter and film critic, beginning in the 1930s; author of Yes, Mr. DeMille, a memoir of film director Cecil B. DeMille.

MERRILL J. MATTES: Staff member of The Star’s library in late 1920s; trails historian and author of Great Platte River Road, a history of the Oregon Trail.

WILLIAM M. REDDIG: Reporter, copy editor, book page editor and feature editor, 1928 to 1947; author of Tom’s Town: Kansas City and the Pendergast Legend.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT: (Yes, that Theodore Roosevelt.) The 26th president of the United States, Roosevelt — who years before had come to know The Star’s publisher, William Rockhill Nelson — wrote a column for The Star. The Star syndicated it to 50 other newspapers from September 1917 until Roosevelt’s death in January 1919.

BERTON ROUECHE: Reporter from 1930s through early 1940s, author of medical narratives for The New Yorker magazine from 1944 through 1991.

JOHN SELBY: Reporter and music editor, 1918 through 1929; author of Sam and other novels.

WHITNEY TERRELL: Reporting intern in summer 1991; has published novels The Huntsman and The King of Kings County.

HARRY TRUMAN: The 33rd president of the United States, as a teenager, worked in the mailroom of The Star for a few weeks in summer 1902. In the draft of a letter to Roy Roberts, president of the Kansas City Star Co., Truman would write, “If the Star is at all mentioned in history it will be because the President of the U.S. worked there for a few weeks in 1901.” The letter, generally a critique of the newspaper’s coverage of Kansas City’s centennial in 1950, is among the Truman papers. It never was mailed.

JOHN D. WEAVER: Reporter from 1935 through 1940; novelist and historian, wrote The Brownsville Raid, which led to the exoneration of 167 African-American troops dishonorably discharged from the Army following 1906 shooting incident in Texas.

PAUL WELLMAN: Editorial writer and feature writer from 1936 to 1944; Western historian and novelist, novels Bronco Apache, Iron Mistress and Jubal Troop were made into movies.

WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE: Editorial writer, 1892 to 1895; editor and publisher of the Emporia Gazette, 1895 to 1944; winner of two Pulitzer Prizes.


— Brian Burnes/The Star
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