James G. Bellows

March 7, 2009
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9 Comments


  1. Thank you for referring to Jim as”a good man.” That he was.
    His greatest quality has his innate knack of making each one of us feel special.
    He was not only a “cheerleader” for news, he was a true champion for the proverbial underdog.
    He was my uncle. I adored him.

  2. So grateful I had the opportunity to meet him. Love the “Clive Barnes chatty” story — and your wonderful tribute.

  3. Nice piece, Denis. It brought back some fond memories. Thanks.

  4. Never met the man, though he was editor of the L.A. Herald-Examiner, always a fun read, when I started my newspaper career in Southern California. His brilliant book sits on my desk at work.

  5. Denis, what a lovely remembrance of Jim Bellows. He left the Washington Star a few weeks after hiring me as a reporter on the national staff. But his spirit was felt in the newsroom long after his departure, at least until Time Inc. bought the Star and tried to make it unrecognizable to Bellows.

  6. Right on the money, as usual, Denis. He was one of a kind. I screwed up once and brought in some complaints (I think it was something stupid I wrote in a review of an Olivia Newton-John concert.) When the flap was over, Bellows simply said, “Well, journalism is an art, not a science.” I never forgot it.

  7. That’s a wonderful piece on Jim Bellows.
    I worked with him — my God! — more than 50 years ago when he was news editor of the Atlanta Journal and I was executive sports editor. He edited a book of mine, Football’s Greatest
    Coaches, for which I paid him the grand sum of $250.

    Money wasn’t important to him. It was the principle, always. Once, when Jim was making about $150 a week, our incredibly stingy m. e. called him in and told him he would be getting a $5 raise. Bellows said, “If that’s all you can afford, keep it, you need it more than I do.”

    The m. e. couldn’t understand a lot of Jim’s mumbling, but he understood THAT. He did, indeed, keep the $5 a week, and Bellows promptly and happily went off to the Detroit Free Press.

    He was one in a million. Also great to have a drink with.

    –Edwin Pope, Miami Herald

  8. Yes, great piece, Dennis. He hired to work as a cartoonist at the old Star in DC when I was an AFI ticket seller at the Kennedy Center and he paid me $5 a shot for my freelance spot cartoons for Nick Blatchford’s letters page. Fond memories of that old Star building and Anne Crutcher the sweet editorial writer, too. Nice.

    Danny in Taiwan

  9. Dennis – terrific, really spot-on piece. What amazed me was Jim’s weird communion – you left his office not having a clue what he’d just told you to do, then, zombie-like, did it. How did that work? And he took all – ALL – the heat for screw-ups. A prince.

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