G.B. Dealey

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The Handbook of Texas

SMU Library Collection

A.H. Belo Corporation

D Is for Dallas

G.B. Dealey

Dallas Morning News

Hall of Fame Class of 2010

G. B. DealeyBorn in England in 1859, George Bannerman Dealey immigrated to Galveston at age 11 with his parents, four brothers and four sisters. He began to work at the Galveston Daily News as an office boy in 1874, replacing his brother Thomas W. Dealey, who had been promoted by Col. Alfred H. Belo, publisher.

By 1885, Thomas was an officer of the reincorporated A.H. Belo & Co., and Col. Belo sent his brother George to Dallas to oversee the start-up of The Dallas Morning News. Under Dealey’s watchful eye, the Dallas Morning News began publication on Oct. 1, 1885. The Dallas and Galveston newspapers had their own local staffs and writers but shared a network of correspondents around the state. The company used leased telegraph lines to send copy the 315 miles from Galveston to Dallas, thus establishing the first “newspaper chain.”

G.B. Dealey was promoted from business manager to general manager, then to vice president. After Belo’s death in 1901, Dealey became president. In 1922, WFAA, a radio service of The Dallas Morning News, and the first network radio station in Texas started broadcasting.

In 1926, Dealey bought The Dallas Morning News, the Journal (the evening edition of The Dallas Morning News), the Semi-Weekly Farm News and the Texas Almanac from the Belo family and acquired the majority of the Belo Corporation stock.

Early in the 1920s, Dealey’s leadership enabled him to expose lawlessness and atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan in Texas, leading to the defeat of the organization’s political candidates from local elections to the governor of Texas. The toll exacted on the company by that principled fight lead to the sale of The Galveston Daily News. However, The Dallas Morning News’ position as a leading Texas newspaper was firmly established and G.B. Dealey’s heirs have never wavered from their commitment to his ideals.

G. B. DealeyDuring his long and productive career, G.B. Dealey established the highest standards for fair reporting on controversial issues, acceptance of paid advertising, treatment of workers and generous community service for newspapers. By the time of his death in 1946, both the venerable Dealey, who had become a respected community leader, and The News were local institutions.

G.B. Dealey’s successors as chairmen of the board of directors were his widow, Olivia Allen Dealey (1946-1960), son, E.M. (Ted) Dealey (1960-1964), son-in-law, James M. Moroney (1964-1968), grandsons, H. Ben Decherd (1968-1972), Joe M. Dealey (1980-1984), and James M. Moroney Jr. (1984-1986), and great-grandson,
Robert W. Decherd (1987-present). Under their leadership, A.H. Belo Corporation became the longest surviving business enterprise in Texas and grew into the additional directions of television broadcasting and online publishing.

Carved into its base are the words: “Citizens of all stations and creeds, comprising the G. B. Dealey Memorial Association of Dallas, erect this monument to commemorate the service and preserve the example of great, good, and useful life, consecrated in faith, dedicated in purpose, to the glory of God and the betterment of mankind...Truth was its light, wisdom its guide, history its counselor, journalism its fruitful province, sympathy broad as human need was its inspiration, philanthropy, - founded in all-embracing brotherly love, - its highest aim.”

Dealey was inducted into the Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2010 as one of four members of the Hall’s fourth class of honorees.