George Bannerman Dealey (September 18, 1859 – February 26, 1946) was a Dallas, Texas, businessman. Dealey was the long-time publisher of The Dallas Morning News and owner of the A. H. Belo Corporation. A plaza in Dallas is named in his honor and became instantly world-famous when it was the site of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.

George Dealey at West End Historic District
George Dealey's press pass for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936

Childhood edit

Dealey was born on September 18, 1859, at the home of his parents, George Dealey (1829–1894) and Mary Ann Nellins (1829–1913), on Queen St., Rusholme, Manchester, England. He was the fifth of 10 children.

In the mid-1860s the family moved to Liverpool, England, where he began his schooling and worked as a grocer's apprentice. In 1870 his family immigrated to Galveston, Texas, where he continued in public school and worked at various odd jobs.

Newspaper career edit

On October 12, 1874, Dealey assumed an older brother's job as an office boy at The Galveston News at $3.00 per week, for the owner, Alfred H. Belo. Dealey took evening classes at the Island City Business College and rose steadily at the News. As a traveling correspondent, he sent both news stories and newspaper-business reports back to Galveston.

In 1884, Dealey determined that Dallas would be the best market for a new Belo company newspaper. In 1885, The Dallas Morning News debuted. He became the paper's manager in 1895, a board member in 1902, vice president and general manager of the corporation in 1906, and president in 1919.

Dealey refused advertising that he considered dishonest or immoral, including ads for hard liquor. He refused ads for oilfield ventures since he could not determine which were sound businesses. The News also opposed the Ku Klux Klan's influence in the 1920s.

Dealey also owned the G. B. Dealey Land Co. and the West Commerce Realty Co. He founded an early newspaper-owned radio station, WFAA, in 1922.

In 1926, Dealey bought The Dallas Morning News, the Journal (an evening edition), the Semi-Weekly Farm News, and the Texas Almanac from the heirs of A. H. Belo, along with a majority of the company stock.

Civic activities edit

Under Dealey, the News was enlisted in the cause of civic planning. A campaign of 1899 led to the foundation of the Cleaner Dallas League, which became the Dallas Civic Improvement League in 1902. He was instrumental in the adoption of the 1910 Kessler Plan to improve Dallas and provide for its growth.

Dealey helped establish Southern Methodist University and was instrumental in bringing a Federal Reserve branch to Dallas.

Dealey served on the board of governors of the American City Planning Institute (1920–21), as vice president of the National Municipal League (1923–24), on the advisory council of the American Planning and Civic Association, and on the national committee of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. He was a director of the Children's Hospital of Texas and was president of the Family Bureau, a Dallas social agency, from its inception in 1908. He was also president of the Philosophical Society of Texas, a member of the Texas Press Association, an honorary life member of the Texas State Historical Association, founder (1922) and lifetime president (from 1933) of the Dallas Historical Society, and second vice president of the Associated Press (1923–24).

Dealey had honorary roles with Sigma Delta Chi (1940–41) and Phi Beta Kappa (1943). He received honorary doctoral degrees from Southern Methodist University (1921), Austin College (1924), and the University of Missouri (1925), the last of which invited him to accept a gift to its school of journalism from the British Empire Press Union.[1]

Dealey Plaza in Downtown Dallas was named for him upon commencement of its construction in 1934 (for the 1936 Texas Centennial). He initially thought to decline the honor, but was persuaded to accept it by his son. A statue of G.B. Dealey was made and erected in Dealey Plaza in 1949.

Personal life edit

Dealey married Olivia Allen at her home in Lexington, Missouri, on April 9, 1884. She was born in Lexington on November 14, 1863, and died at her home in Dallas on January 28, 1960. Allen had succeeded her husband as chairman of the board of A. H. Belo Corporation and was serving in that capacity when she died.

The Dealeys had three daughters and two sons. The sons were Walter Allen Dealey and Edward Musgrove (Ted) Dealey. Ted Dealey succeeded his father as publisher of the Morning News. A younger brother, James Q. Dealey (1861–1937), was a professor of political science at Brown University and later editor of the Morning News. A nephew, Samuel David Dealey (1906–1944), was a World War II naval submarine officer who received the Medal of Honor[2] and for whom the USS Dealey (DE-1006) was named.[3] James M. Moroney III, publisher of the Morning News from 2001–2018 and current chief executive of the A.H. Belo Corporation, is Dealey's great-grandson.[4] Another grandson, Dr. Walter Allen (Al) Dealey Jr. became a Christian minister and studied under Norman Vincent Peale.

Dealey was a Thirty-third-degree Scottish Rite Mason, Knight Templar, Shriner, and member of the Red Cross of Constantine. He was a Presbyterian and Democrat.[citation needed] The New York Times called him the "dean of American newspaper publishers."[5]

Dealey was still working as a publisher when he died of a massive coronary occlusion at his Dallas home, February 26, 1946,[6] at the age of 86. He was buried in Grove Hill Cemetery in Dallas.

Legacy edit

References edit

  1. ^ Associated Press (18 November 1925). "Missouri State School Obtains Historic Stone: British Journalists Present Gift as Salutation of International Friendship". The Miami News. p. N-19. Retrieved 15 April 2014. The St. Paul's stone was accepted for the university by George Dealey of Dallas, president of the Dallas News, and former vice president of the Associated Press
  2. ^ "Samuel David Dealey". Military Times Hall of Valor. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Dealey". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. U.S. Navy. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. ^ Robinson-Jacobs, Karen (1 March 2018). "Grant Moise to become eighth publisher of The Dallas Morning News". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo Corporation. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  5. ^ "G.B. DEALEY, 86, DIES; DEAN OF PUBLISHERS; Served Dallas Morning News Organization for 71 Years-- Honored by Those in Field CHAMPION OF CLEAN NEWS Refused Oil Stock Advertising During Boom--Fought Rise of Ku Klux Klan in Texas". Arthur Hays Sulzberger. 27 February 1946. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  6. ^ Rosser, John E. (1946). "G. B. Dealey of The "News"". Southwest Review. 31 (4): 327–332. doi:10.2307/43463145. JSTOR 43463145.
  7. ^ Breed, Eleanor (2021-06-10). "UT's Belo Center for New Media Renamed the G. B. Dealey Center for New Media". UT News. Retrieved 2023-03-24.

Further reading edit

  • Acheson, Sam. 35,000 Days in Texas: A History of the Dallas News and Its Forbears. New York: MacMillan, 1938.
  • Cox, Patrick. The First Texas News Barons. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005. ISBN 0-292-70977-3.
  • Dealey, Jerry T. D in the Heart of Texas. Dallas: JEDI Management Group, 2002. ISBN 0-9723913-0-4.
  • Funeral Rites Set for Mrs. Dealey. Dallas Morning News, Jan. 30, 1960, sec. 1, p. 4.
  • G. B. Dealey, 86, Publisher of The News, Dies. Dallas Morning News, Feb. 27, 1946, sec. 1, p. 1.
  • Sharpe, Ernest. G. B. Dealey of The Dallas News. Henry Holt, 1955.
  • Sam Hanna Acheson, "George Bannerman Dealey," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50 (January 1947). Texas Almanac, 1947–48. * Who's Who in America, 1946–47.
  • Handbook of Texas Online, "DEALEY, GEORGE BANNERMAN," (, accessed June 19, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

External links edit