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Victor B. Fain

The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel

Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Known as an editor and publisher in the best tradition of grassroots journalism who loved his newspaper and loved his town, Victor B. Fain was a descendant of a pioneer Texas family, born on a farm in the Old North Church community near Nacogdoches in 1915.

He attended then Stephen F. Austin State College, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1936 while working as a correspondent for small local newspapers and five metro newspapers. After graduating, he was hired by the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. His career with Herald Publishing, the owner of the Sentinel and the Redland Herald, spanned six decades.

He met Lucille Hammack, a University of Texas journalism graduate, when she came to work for the newspaper in 1937. They married and worked together for many years while raising three children.

In World War II, Fain’s newspaper career was placed on hold while he served in the Pacific as an air squadron officer. After the war, he was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve for 20 years. When he returned from active duty, he was named editor and publisher of the Sentinel, a post he held for 40 years, until Herald Publishing shareholders sold to Cox Newspapers in 1989.

Fain served as Texas Press Association president in 1961-62, capping many years of service on many of the organization’s boards and committees. In 1965 Fain received the North and East Texas Press Association’s prestigious Sam Holloway Award. He was honored in 1989 with Texas Press Association’s Golden 50 Award, commemorating his five decades as a working newspaperman in Texas. In addition to mentoring employees who worked at the Sentinel, he taught journalism classes at SFA for many years.

Fain is remembered as a positive force in the Nacogdoches community, for his leadership roles in civic and booster clubs and as chair of the city’s planning and zoning commission. He also served as a director of the Neches River Conservation District and the McGee Bend Dam Development Corporation, an organization responsible for the creation of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Fain died at age 84 in 2000.