A Guide to the Ron Calhoun Papers, 1957-1990
In the small west Texas town of Stamford, Ronald O. "Ron" Calhoun was born on February 23, 1935, to John O. "Pete" and Louise Calhoun. He studied journalism at Texas Tech University. During his college years, he began working in the newspaper business, producing a weekly newspaper in Anton and working for the university newspaper The Toreador. He won the 1960 Southwestern Journalism Congress Award for a story covering the death of three Texas Tech students in Palo Duro Canyon.
In 1961, Calhoun moved to Philadelphia, where he worked as the police and city hall reporter for the Delaware County Daily Times, garnering a Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association Award for a series on welfare. After returning to Texas Tech in 1963, he worked as a copy editor for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, teaching journalism part-time at the university and completing his degree in 1964.
Calhoun began his career at the Dallas Times Herald in 1967, first as a general assignments reporter, then as city hall reporter, until he became political writer in 1968. In this position for the next twelve years, he covered all aspects of local, state, and national politics. After the general election of 1980, the Times Herald named Calhoun to its editorial board, for which he wrote editorial and weekly columns. His work focused largely on Texas politics, where he researched, reported, and chronicled many key races. Calhoun received awards from the Dallas Press Club, the Associated Press, United Press International, and the Headliners Club of Austin. Along with Bill Sloan, Calhoun was nominated for the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for articles written in the wake of the murders of three Dallas County deputy sheriffs and the tragic, racially-charged aftermath.
After leaving the Times Herald, Calhoun served the Texas General Land Office as Public Information Director from 1989 until his retirement ten years later.
The background research material used by Ron Calhoun as a reporter and editor for the Dallas Times Herald compose the Ron Calhoun Papers, 1957-1990, which contains notes, correspondence, statistics, election returns, newspaper clippings, press releases, newsletters, and original newspaper morgue files from the Times Herald. The papers primarily concern Texas and national politics, including Democratic and GOP conventions and candidates; national presidential and congressional elections and primaries; Texas gubernatorial and legislative races; as well as local Texas judicial, mayoral, sheriff, and city council elections. Additionally, the papers discuss political scandals, legal trials, constitutional amendments, state tax reform, congressional redistricting, and politics regarding specific individuals and organizations, such as Lyndon B. Johnson, Lloyd Bentsen, the Jim Mattox trial, Ann Richards, George Bush, the Libertarian Party, the Jim Collins payroll scandal, and the Citizens Charter Association in Dallas.
This collection is open for research use.
Ron Calhoun Papers, 1957-1990, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers