Jul 19, 2023
Remembering legendary Dayton Daily News journalists you’ve enjoyed through the years
Now that the Dayton Daily News has been round for 125 years, we thought we would take a look back at some of the journalists that readers have enjoyed the most through the years. There is no way we
Now that the Dayton Daily News has been round for 125 years, we thought we would take a look back at some of the journalists that readers have enjoyed the most through the years.
There is no way we could include all of the many great personalities that have contributed to the newspaper, but here is a look at those you’ve enjoyed through the years.
Tom Archdeacon began his career with the Dayton Daily News in 1989
Tom Archdeacon, known as an old-school storyteller, is a reporter, columnist, and sports writer whose name in the region is often synonymous with great reporting on local teams and athletes.
“Arch” has covered about every kind of sporting event -- everything from Olympics, Kentucky derbies, Super Bowls and high school rivalries. He’s traveled to places like Norway, Spain, the Soviet Union and Cuba to cover major events, bringing the world to readers through his eyes.
Bob Batz’ first job in print was copy boy at The Flint Journal. He worked at newspapers in Rochester, N.Y., and Akron before retiring from the Dayton Daily News in 2007. He continued to write a column for the Brookville Star until his death.
The stories Batz pursued allowed him to experience the lofty and low – from piloting a Goodyear blimp, or spending a night in jail. After the death of his mother, Batz wrote a series of on Alzheimer’s disease that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Batz also passed the craft forward, teaching journalism for more than 24 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton.
Leal Beattie built a national reputation covering auto racing for the Journal Herald and DDN for 25 years.
He joined The Journal Herald in July 1972 after beginning his career as sports editor of the Owensboro (KY) Messenger and Inquirer.
Mr. Beattie covered 25 Indianapolis 500s and numerous Daytona 500 stock car races. He was a frequent visitor at the Midwest’s short tracks. His favorite was Eldora Speedway in Rossburg.
Beattie won numerous awards from the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association
Millie Bingham was known as Millie B. and Kate McQueen to readers of her columns in the Journal Herald and the Dayton Daily News. She retired in 2005.
Her “Common Cents” column, which started in 1972, was ahead of it’s time in writing about money-saving tips for consumers. It was written under her pseudonym Kate McQueen.
Her “Ask Millie B.” household hints column began running in the Dayton Daily News in 1980.
After her death in 2008, editor Kevin Riley said, “Millie Bingham was a community institution. Her work at the Dayton Daily News helped us keep in touch with our readers. No one cared about them more than Millie.”
Erma Bombeck became popular for her newspaper column describing suburban home life in a humorous way.
Bombecks first job at the Dayton Journal was as a ‘copy girl’ in 1944. After graduating from the University of Dayton in 1949, she worked at the Journal Herald, writing obituaries and woman’s page stories.
After a stint at the Kettering-Oakwood Times, she was hired as a column writer by the Journal Hearald in 1965. Her first column for the Journal Hearld was called, “Our Girl in Centerville,” which is where she was living at the time.
Her column became syndicated within weeks, publishing under the name “At Wit’s End,” also the name of her first book. The column continued until her death in 1996. At one point, about 900 newspapers were running it weekly.
Bombeck went on to write for several magazines, appear on television shows including Good Morning America and also published 15 books over her career, many becoming bestsellers.
Si Burick was a nationally-known sportswriter for 61 years and was the sports editor for the Dayton Daily News for 58 of those years. He was promoted to sports editor when he was just 19-years-old.
For more than 20 years he also did a sports broadcast in WHIO radio at 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Si covered his first major league baseball game in 1929. He won the BBWAA Career Excellence Award, voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America and presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ritter Collett, was a sports editor and columnist for the Dayton Journal-Herald and Dayton Daily News for over 50 years.
During his career, he covered 44 consecutive World Series from 1946-1990.
Collett started at the Dayton Journal in 1946 and became the sports editor of the Journal-Herald from 1948 until 1991. Although retired as sports editor, Collett continued to write columns for the paper until his death in 2001.
Collett was the winner of the 1991 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America and presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame honors contributions to baseball through three awards. The annual winners of the Museum’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters and the BBWAA’s Career Excellence Award for writers are honored at the Awards Presentation on Hall of Fame Weekend. The Museum’s Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award is presented not more than once every three years by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors.
Mickey Davis began his career in June 1965 as a reporter with The Journal Herald, later working as a sportswriter, features writer, `Morning Line’ columnist and Modern Living section editor before being appointed features editor of the merged Dayton Daily News and The Journal Herald on Sept. 5, 1982.
He launched the lighthearted Al & Marge feature on June 5, 1994. He coordinated the column by compiling the contributions of readers, newspaper staffers and himself.
Mickey Davis’ passion for writing about everyday people and the intrigue of day-to-day life made him a favorite of newspaper readers.
His news stories, sports stories, features and columns appeared in Dayton newspapers for more than 30 years, capturing numerous writing awards along the way.
Chesta Fulmer’s “We Together” column in The Dayton Herald and the Journal-Herald was one of the most widely-read pieces in the newspaper during era starting in the late 1930s.
Fulmer answered readers questions in her column. Many were from people, young and old, who found the stresses of life hard to handle. She was a sort of counselor to help people get through hard times.
Her lyric poems, humorous verses and statements of brave living were compiled in the book, Far Pastures, in 1940.
Ann Heller started at the newspaper by covered politics, courts and urban affairs and then served as assistant city editor from 1968-1972.
In 1976 she began reviewing restaurants for The Journal Herald and two years later she became the paper’s regular food writer in charge of the “Dining Out” column. She became food editor in 1984.
Ann Heller worked for 29 years as the food editor and 31 years as restaurant critic of The Journal Herald and Dayton Daily News.
She published books including “It’s Simple” and “The Best of It’s Simple: Easy recipes for Today’s Lifestyle and Tastes.”
Marjorie “Marj” Heyduck, was a reporter, columnist and editor for the Dayton Herald, Dayton Press, Dayton Journal, Dayton Journal-Herald, and Dayton Daily News from 1936 to 1969.
Her “Third and Main” columns that she wrote over 26 years were compiled to make three books.
Heyduck won over 75 journalism awards over her career.
She was known for the stylish hats she wore around town. Her daily column featured a photograph of her in a different hat every day, for a total of 2,776 hats and photographs over the course of her career.
Dale Huffman’s columns and stories forged an enduring bond with Dayton Daily News readers during a career that spanned 45 years.
Mr. Huffman covered several high-profile stories as a reporter in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, but it was his work as a metro columnist in the latter two-thirds of his career that captured the loyalty of a community and prompted a remarkable level of reader devotion.
In 1999, Huffman started writing a daily column that highlighted everyday life throughout the region. The column ran every day for more than eight years. When he was hospitalized with a serious illness, he was forced to stop writing the daily column. By then, he had written more than 3,000 consecutively.
President George H.W. Bush named Mr. Huffman the nation’s 1,001st “Point of Light” in 1993, for his recurring series that followed 100 kindergarten students to their high school graduation in 2000.
In 1998, he published a book, “Dayton: The Cradle of Creativity,” and in 2008, he was inducted to the Dayton Walk of Fame.
Betty Dietz Krebs
Credit: family photo
Credit: family photo
Betty Dietz Krebs started at the Dayton Daily News in 1941, at age 20, as a music writer. She stayed on the staff for 53 years before retiring. By then, she had become an icon of arts coverage.
Her first love was the Dayton Philharmonic, but she also covered Dayton Opera, and the growth of the Dayton Art Institute. She wrote a cooking column and wrote about women’s activities. Eventually she was named arts editor and critic.
Walt McCaslin was a book reviewer for the Dayton Daily News from 1951-1961 and started at the Journal-Herald in 1962, becoming an art critic in 1970. He held that position until his untimely death in 1981.
After his death, the Dayton Ballet paid tribute to him by creating a performance inspired by McCaslin called, In Love, which premiered at the Victory Theatre.
“The arts should be at the center of life, instead of on its frivolous, decorative fringe. It’s the artist -- the painter and poet, the dancer, the playwright -- who tells us, and tells us without hedging, what society is about, and how we stand as thinking, feeling individuals...” - Walt McCaslin
Hal McCoy has been a baseball writer for the Dayton Daily News for over 50 years.
McCoy was in the forefront of the Pete Rose investigation, breaking many stories during the 1989 season while also covering the Reds on a daily basis.
According to the Baseball Hall of Fame website, during one stretch, McCoy covered more than 5,500 games, 900 Spring training games and 500 postseason games, missing only one assigned game due to illness.
McCoy won the 2002 BBWAA Career Excellence Award voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America and presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Mike Peters started as an editorial cartoonist at the Dayton Daily News in 1969.
In 1981, Peters won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. At the time, his cartoons were syndicated to about 250 newspapers.
In 1984, he launched the cartoon Mother Goose and Grimm. The strip was published in 500 newspapers.
Skip Peterson started as a photographer at the Dayton Daily News in 1973. He was named director of photography in 1982 and spent 33 years at the newspaper.
Peterson also wrote a “Wheels of the Week,” and later “Wheels of the Month,” column for several years and enjoyed covering motorsports, especially the Indianapolis 500, each year.
Peterson covered the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta and in 1998 was the lead photographer and photo editor on the project “Military Medicine; Unnecessary Danger” which earned a Pulitzer Prize for the Dayton Daily News.
Peterson’s work has appeared in LIFE, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Car Collector, Classic Motorsports and other publications.
Roz Young started at the Dayton Daily News in 1944, writing freelance features and columns. She was hired as a full-time columnist for the Dayton Journal Herald in 1970, replacing the also legendary Marj Heyduck.
Young’s daily column appeared on the Opinion page at a time when women didn’t often received bylines outside of the Women’s Pages.
Her most popular columns were about her cat, Edith, and local history.
Young semi-retired from the Dayton Daily News in 1982 but continued to write a weekly column until her death in 2005.
About the Author
Greg Lynch has been a photographer, digital specialist and digital content producer at Cox First Media for more than 30 years.