Barry Bingham, Sr., was one of this country's most influential journalists. Under his half-century of leadership, the Louisville Courier-Journal became one of America's leading newspapers, as attested by six Pulitzer Prizes. In this illuminating oral history, Samuel Thomas weaves together excerpts from more than a dozen interviews with Bingham, along with selections from his writings and comments by his wife, Mary Caperton Bingham.
Barry Bingham's influence was voiced principally through newspaper journalism, but, besides owning the Courier-Journal and its evening companion, the Louisville Times, the family enterprises included WHAS radio and television and Standard Gravure Corporation, which also produced Sunday supplements for dozens of newspapers. Bingham's enterprises laid on the doorsteps of Kentuckians, and brought to them over the airwaves, insightful reporting and examination of state and local matters as well as in-depth coverage of national and world events.
Bingham espoused many causes, including mental health, military preparedness, press freedom, and liberal politics. He championed civil rights, the performing arts, better education, historic preservation, and land conservation.
By training and predilection, Bingham was first and foremost a writer, but he was equally articulate as a conversationalist and public speaker. His recorded interviews, excerpted here, are clear and concise, expressive and informative. From these selections emerges a portrait of a man of extraordinary vision who used his wealth and power for the good of his community, his state, and his nation.