The Press: City Editor

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Amid the busy din and jingle in the New York Herald Tribune's city room one afternoon last week, one of the city editor's telephones rang.

"Hello, Stanley," said a petulant woman's voice. ''Aren't you going to keep our date?"

"What date? Who is this?"

Bit by bit the woman's story came out. A handsome gentleman in a fine automobile had picked her up at 110th Street the day before, wined her, dined her, told her that he was City Editor Stanley Walker of the Herald Tribune. He had made an appointment with her for the following day, promised to show her the Herald Tribune's plant, go to dinner, the theatre, a night club. He had failed to appear.

Editor Walker assured the lady that he could not drive a car, had never owned one, never went above 59th Street. Following up the story, he asked her to come to his office. Soon she flounced in, a comely Jewess. Taking one look at ruffled, bird-like Editor Walker, she said: "You're right. He was much better looking than you are." Amused and annoyed, he set out to find his impersonator. The Herald Tribune did not print the story.

Most metropolitan newspapermen know and like three Walkers: Jimmie, Johnny and Stanley. Jimmie is the wisecracking Mayor. Johnny is a kind of Scotch whiskey. Stanley is currently the most famed, most colorful city editor in town. Around him grows a fine garden of anecdote.

Short, wiry, hardbitten, he was born 33 years ago on a Texas ranch. He went to the University of Texas, later worked for a while on the Dallas News. In 1919 he broke into New York on the old Herald. He was never an outstanding reporter. He stayed with the Herald when Frank Andrew Munsey merged it with the now defunct morning Sim and when Ogden Reid merged it with his Tribune.

He works his staff hard, himself harder. A day with Stanley Walker might begin at 10 a. m. and last (if he is taking both the day and night desks) until midnight. It might include lunch at the Algonquin or a bite with some of his staff in Blake's, the Herald Tribune saloon. Back at his desk, smoking innumerable cigars, he would see the first edition onto the presses, return to Blake's, catch a midnight train out to Great Neck, L. I. where he lives. On the train he reads one of the early editions so he can telephone back further instructions when he gets home.

Like all good newsmen. Editor Walker's chief hate is inaccuracy; in particular, misspelling of names in the news. Once, when he himself misspelled District Attorney Thomas C. T. Grain's name in a Sunday feature story, his night staff sent him a wry wire:






Editor Walker is married, has one daughter, is expecting another child. First to break the news publicly was, of course, gabby Colyumist Walter Winchell of the Mirror. Editor Walker read the squib, remarked: "Well, I guess this is all right— as long as I get a by-line."

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