Longtime newsman and former Claremore Daily Progress publisher Edward Livermore Sr. died Saturday at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa. He was 95.
Livermore was a board member and president of the National Newspaper Association, receiving its highest honor, the Amos Award. He was also president of the Oklahoma Press Association and United Press Editors of Oklahoma and received many state and national editorial awards.
In 1970, he was elected to the Oklahoma Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Livermore served as president of the Claremore and Sapulpa chambers of commerce and was named outstanding citizen in both cities. He was a founding director of the Creek County Industrial Authority and also served on the Claremore Industrial Foundation.
He recently re-endowed the Livermore-Engleman Chair at the University of Oklahoma College of Journalism and Mass Communication to ensure that it continues in perpetuity.
Livermore was a voracious reader, imbued with a thriving curiosity until his death. He was patriotic, a devoted Oklahoman and loved to discuss current and business events. He had a wry sense of humor and his “Ed-isms” evoked much laughter. He was a born Methodist and quiet contributor to that church and numerous charities. He was a reformed golfer.
Livermore was born Sept. 12, 1918, in Hobart, where at age 9 he had a job at the local newspaper. He received a journalism degree in 1941 from OU, where he met Melba Howse Hudson, also a journalism student. They were married Aug. 30, 1941. He volunteered for Army duty in 1942 and was commissioned an officer.
Ed and Melba became publishers with the purchase of The Claremore Progress in partnership with Wheeler Mayo of Sallisaw in 1948.
Ed and Melba worked together for the next 50 years, acquiring the Sapulpa Herald, Edmond Evening Sun, Guthrie Leader, Oklahoma City Buyers’ Guide, Mineral Wells (Texas) Index, and other newspapers in Catoosa, Del City, Midwest City and additional affiliated weekly publications.
Livermore also owned a radio station and cable TV interests during his career.
Even as he reached the pinnacle of his career, he remained modest and unassuming, never seeking adulation. He began his career as a printers’ helper in 1927 and quickly grew to love community journalism, a passion he never lost. After graduating from OU in 1941, he and Melba began their journalism careers at the Anadarko Daily News. After war service, they returned to Anadarko and two years later moved to Claremore.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Sapulpa on Saturday at 11 a.m.