Home Timeline 1942-1973 Reporters & Writers Perpsectives on Reporting Civil Rights Resources Reporting Civil Rights: The LOA Anthology
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No photo available Joe  Azbell
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(August 24, 1927├▒September 30, 1995) Born in Vernon, Texas. Ran away from home at 13, reading in public libraries by day and working at night in print shops and on newspapers in a number of states. At 18 joined U.S. Army Air Forces; worked on base newspapers and founded Air University Dispatch. After World War II, founded weekly West Alabama News in Selma; hired as state editor of Montgomery Advertiser in 1948 and later named city editor. Fired and soon rehired in 1953 after decision to stop presses for front-page coverage of Hank Williams' Montgomery funeral (special issue achieved record circulation). In 1955, tipped off by E. D. Nixon, published first newspaper account of Montgomery bus boycott. Left Advertiser in early 1960s. Published book The Riotmakers (1968). Founded successful real estate firm. Worked on 1968 and 1972 presidential campaigns of George Wallace as director of communications, and subsequently as independent political consultant. From 1968 until his death, wrote a weekly political column for Montgomery Independent.