(June 14, 1890-Feb. 5, 1954). A political writer for three decades, Early had more than an ordinary influence on the public scene because his column, “The Day in Indiana,” appeared daily on page one of the Indianapolis Star. He had a reputation as a fair and accurate reporter and in his writing looked beyond politics to a development’s effect on government.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Early attended Wabash College and graduated in 1914 from Marquette University. He joined the Star as a reporter in 1916. After covering various governmental beats, he became the Star ‘s first reporter assigned full time to politics. On his death, he had attended every Indiana and national Democratic Party and Republican Party convention since 1924.

His first-page column originated in January 1939, when Early was covering a session of the General Assembly. It began as “The Day in the Legislature,” and proved so popular that it continued as “The Day in Indiana” after the legislative session had ended. The column continued under the name until January 8, 1954.

The dean of Hoosier political reporters, Early was often called “Mr. Indiana” by fellow scribes because of his knowledge of Indiana government and politics. He wrote of the need for new state agencies and witnessed the creation of the state Tax Board, Public Service Commission, Highway Department, Conservation Department, and the Legislative Reference Bureau.

One of a small group of newspapermen who organized the Indianapolis Press Club in 1934, he was the club’s first president. Both he and a younger brother, Robert P. Early, who was city editor and later managing editor of the Star, are members of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

Revised March 2021

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