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'Hall of Fame' Journalist Bob Giles '55 Profiled in Magazine

January 2, 2002

January 2, 2002, Greencastle, Ind. - The December 2001 edition of The World & I, a monthly magazine published by the Washington Times, includes a lengthy profile of Robert H. Giles, a longtime newspaper editor and 1955 graduate of DePauw who is now curator of the prestigious Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. The story, entitled "At Journalism's Pinnacle," tells of Giles' boyhood dream of becoming a baseball star. "Little did he know," writes Robert R. Selle, "he was destined to enter a different kind of major league -- journalism -- and rise to become a member of its Hall of Fame, of sorts."

Over time, a young Giles realized he did not have the skills to toil on major league diamonds, so he set his sights on becoming a sportswriter for his hometown paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "He decided to attend DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and major in English" Selle writes. "Although there was no journalism department, the school had an excellent student newspaper and a tradition of launching graduates into journalism careers, sending many of them to Columbia University's top-tier Graduate School of Journalism. At DePauw, Giles played on the varsity baseball team for three years and worked on the campus paper. In his senior year, however, 'I couldn't both play baseball and be editor of the paper, so I chose to be editor of the paper,' he said."

Indeed, Giles was admitted to Columbia's J-school after graduating DePauw, and went on to spend more than 40 years in the newspaper business. His career included stints as editor of the Detroit News, which he left in 1997 to become senior vice president of The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan, international foundation dedicated to freedom of speech and of the press.

Two newspapers won Pulitzer Prizes under Giles' editorship: the Beacon Journal in 1971, when he was managing editor, and the Detroit News won in 1994, when Giles was editor. Giles won the Scripps-Howard Foundation's Distinguished Journalism Citation in 1978 for "outstanding public service in the cause of the First Amendment" and is the author of "Newsroom Management: A Guide to Theory and Practice."

The World & I article, which spans four pages, includes Giles' takes on the state of journalism today, the events of September 11, and focuses on his personal life, including his love of rowing and gardening. The story is available online, but a subscription is required. You can access it by clicking here.

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