RENO, Nev. (AP) — A New York columnist who moved to Virginia City in 1950 and restarted the newspaper where Mark Twain wrote a century earlier, the former head of the Nevada Press Association and three reporters whose bylines were fixtures in northern Nevada’s largest publication for decades are entering the state’s Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Lucius Beebee, who died in 1966, Barry Smith, Ray Hagar, Frank X. Mullen and Lenita Powers are to be formally inducted into the hall of fame at the press association and Nevada Press Foundation’s annual convention and awards banquet Saturday in Reno.
The convention opens Friday with an informal gathering hosted by the Reno Gazette-Journal at its new headquarters in downtown Reno and closes Saturday with the annual awards banquet. Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a Saturday luncheon.
Beebee joined the New York Herald Tribune in 1929 and wrote a syndicated column called “This New York,” chronicling the city’s “café society” from the 1930s through 1944 before he and longtime partner Charles Clegg moved to the historic mining town of Virginia City.
They bought the Virginia City News and launched it as the Territorial Enterprise in 1952, restoring the newspaper where Samuel Clemens had written under his famous pen name, Mark Twain. Beebee wrote a column called “That Was the West,” covering everything from history to literature and gastronomy.
Smith worked at newspapers in Illinois and Colorado before he became the editor in 1996 of the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, where he wrote a weekly column and daily editorials while editing much of the daily copy.
Smith became the executive director of the Nevada Press Association in 2006 and served as the voice of Nevada journalists, arguing in dozens of hearings before the Legislature to improve the state’s open meeting and public record laws. He retired from the press association in 2018.
Hagar got his first job at age 17 as a sports stringer with the Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal in 1970, and went on to cover sports and politics in northern Nevada for 50 years. He did stints with The Record-Courier in Gardnerville and Sparks Tribune before returning to the Evening Gazette and State Journal in 1977.
Hagar made national headlines when hot-tempered New York Yankees manager Billy Martin punched him during an interview. Hagar told The Associated Press Martin objected to one of his questions and wanted to see his notes. Hagar refused, holding his notes behind his back as Martin reached around to grab them and then slugged him.
Hagar worked as a sports editor of the El Paso Times from 1987-93 before returning to the Reno Gazette Journal to cover politics. Since 2003, he has served as co-host with Sam Shad on Nevada Newsmakers.
Mullen co-founded the student newspaper at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 1979. He worked at the Columbia Daily Tribune, Rocky Mountain Business Journal and Denver Post before joining the Reno Gazette Journal in 1988, where he spent most of his 25 years pursuing investigative projects.
Mullen taught journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno for more than a dozen years and still lectures at Truckee Meadows Community College. He authored a book about the ill-fated pioneers who resorted to cannibalism when stranded in a Sierra snowstorm, “The Donner Party Chronicles: A Day-by-Day Account of a Doomed Wagon Train, 1846-1847.” He came out of retirement last year to revive the website of the Reno News & Review.
Powers began her 43-year career with the Reno Gazette Journal in 1972 on what was then called the “Women’s Page,” before reporting on federal and state courts, the Legislature, K-12 and higher education.
Powers later worked as assistant city editor while writing heart-tugging features and a popular column throughout the 1990s, tackling everything from politics to her own family.
This story has been corrected to accurately refer to The Record-Courier in Gardnerville.