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Texas Newspaper Oral History

Jerry Tidwell

Hood County News

Hall of Fame Class of 2009

Jerry Tidwell traded a career as an industrial engineer for a job as a sports writer and has never regretted it. George Tucker purchased the newspaper in 1915. The fourth generation is Sarah Greene’s son William R. “Russ” Greene, publisher of The Gilmer Mirror since 2006.

After graduating from TCU, he went to work at LTV, “making airplanes
during the Vietnam War,” he says. But when James Roberts offered him a job in 1970 as advertising manager and sports writer in Tidwell’s home town of Andrews, he jumped at it. “I loved it from day one.”

Tidwell transferred to the Seminole Sentinel where he was advertising manager for three years.

In 1976 he was named publisher of the Lamb County News in Littlefield, and in 1979 became publisher of the twice-weekly Hood County News in Granbury.

Since then, the Hood County News has become one of Texas’ most praised community newspapers, consistently winning awards for excellence at the regional, state and national levels.

Tidwell has been tireless in his service to the publishing profession, as well as his service to his local community. He was president of North and East Texas Press Association in 1984-85 and is a recipient of that association’s Sam Holloway Award. He received West Texas Press Association’s Harold Hudson Memorial Award in 2001.

He served as president of the Texas Press Association in 1996-97. He was then named Texas State Chair of the National Newspaper Association and was later elected to that organization’s Board of Directors.

As a board member, Tidwell helped guide the National Newspaper Association through difficult financial and leadership transitions. In 2006-07, he served as president of NNA. Harold Hudson (Hall of Fame Class of 2008) was NNA president in 1977-78 and Roy Eaton (Hall of Fame Class of 2007) was NNA president in 1996-97.

Tidwell served on the Texas Newspaper Foundation board of directors from 1997 to 2013. He was the foundation’s president from 2003 to 2006.

He also has chaired the Texas Press Association’s Legislative Committee, been a member of the Lake Granbury Medical Center board of trustees, Children’s Advocacy Center board of directors, the Granbury Kiwanis Club and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Granbury. He has served on the board of Ruth’s Place, which provides free medical and dental services to those in need. He also has been president of Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, which operates a free mobile food pantry and gives food to needy children to eat over the weekend.

Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Vana, and they have two children. Their son, Derek, also works for the Hood County News.

Tidwell was inducted into the Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2009 as one of four members of the Hall’s third class of honorees.