(Jan. 1, 1883-Nov. 20, 1964). A native of Gano, Ohio, Roy Wilson Howard was the son of a railroad brakeman. The family moved to Indianapolis when Howard was 7. At 13, he carried the morning and afternoon newspapers to supplement the family income. During his final two years at Manual High School, Howard covered scholastic and sports events for the Indianapolis News.

After graduation in 1902, he became sports editor of the Indianapolis Star. Then, in rapid succession, he became assistant telegraph editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1905), assistant managing editor of the Cincinnati Post (1905), and the New York correspondent for Scripps McRae’s Ohio newspapers (1906).

Several months later, Howard was named New York manager of Publishers Press, a struggling wire service purchased by Scripps to compete with the Associated Press. In 1907, he became general news manager of the United Press, a wire service formed that year by consolidating three Scripps news-gathering services.

By 1912, Howard was president of United Press, a position he held until 1920 when he became chairman of the board and business director of the Scripps newspapers. On November 2, 1922, E. W. Scripps, the controlling stockholder of all the properties, changed the concern’s name to Scripps Howard. Until his retirement in 1952, Howard worked to expand the newspaper group coast to coast and to strengthen the wire service, which became known as United Press International.

Though he gained respect for his business acumen, he remained a newspaperman. His byline frequently appeared above interviews with the world’s foremost leaders. His legend is memorialized today at the Roy W. Howard Archive at Indiana University and perpetuated by Scripps Howard through the annual presentation of the Roy W. Howard Awards for Public Service.

Revised March 2021

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