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McDavid, O. C., 1911-1998 | University of Houston Libraries

Name: McDavid, O. C., 1911-1998

Historical Note:

O.C. McDavid was born on May 30, 1911 in Ruth, Mississippi.  At the urging of his high school English teacher, McDavid forged a non-traditional path into a career in the newspaper industry.  He secured his first job sweeping up the print shop at the Enterprise Journal while in high school.  As his responsibilities grew to include running the print shop as well as writing, he attended high school part-time so that he could pursue his new career full-time.

McDavid’s career took an unexpected turn as the United States’ involvement in World War II became imminent.  As a member of the National Guard, McDavid received his federal induction and was quickly tapped to publish a camp newspaper named The Dixie.  After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, McDavid was stationed in the South Pacific.  There, in New Guinea, McDavid was placed in charge of establishing village governments with the local population and helped to provide local services such as sanitation, security, and health.

Following the war, McDavid returned to the newspaper industry, finally retiring at the age of 70.  He turned his time and energies to sculpting and painting, earning the George Ohr Public Service Award (honoring Mississippians who have supported crafts as art) in 1976.

He died on March 12, 1998 in Jackson, Mississippi.  The following year the Mississippi Press Association established an annual student journalism conference in his name.

Sources: McDavid, O.C.  My Name is O.C.  Gene McDavid, 2003
Note Author: Gregory Yerke

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