The Super-star PR Man Who Helped Start the Press Club
The late Martin Quigley, PR man, journalist, and the co-founder and first president of what became the Press Club, used to say, "If you don't dawdle, there's time for everything." He lived by that rule, and produced a mountain of books, plays, musicals, poetry, feature stories and more, while juggling his job as a senior partner at FleishmanHillard during the 1950s-1970s. In his retirement years, he coached many up-and-coming writers, including Eric Mink and Marianna Riley of Post-Dispatch fame -- and helped them land jobs in journalism. A generous man, he gave his time and money to many causes in the journalism field, and beyond. And her never forgot his lowly roots centered in the Great Depression. (See complete bio below)
I'd like to honor my father in what would have been his 100th year, by starting the "Martin P. Quigley Journalism Scholarship," which will be sponsored by the Press Club. The scholarship will go to a student at Webster University, my alma mater.
We are seeking contributions for the scholarship, and hope you can help us out. Here's how:
Please send donations of any amount by check to Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis, PO Box 410522, St. Louis, MO 63141. Click Here if you wish to donate by credit card in amounts of $25, $50, $75 or $100.
With many thanks for your generosity,
Catherine Quigley Gurley
1105 Edward Terrace
St. Louis, MO 63117
Martin Peter Quigley (1913-2000) graduated from the University of Minnesota Journalism School in 1938. His family was poor, and he played semi-professional baseball to earn his tuition. He began his journalism career at the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader, and later, at the Kansas City Star, where he met a budding young reporter for UPI, Walter Cronkite. Cronkite became a lifelong friend. Quigley worked at the Star under an irascible city editor, about whom he later wrote a book: “Mr. Blood’s Last Night”. In 1942, Quigley became an information specialist with the War Production Board and wrote segments of Roosevelt's "Fireside Chat" radio addresses.
Quigley was a staff sergeant, photographer and reporter for the Army Air Force during World War II and parachute-jumped from a disabled bomber over Rome. After the war, he moved to New York, where he began work in public relations. In 1951, he moved to Los Angeles, where he became director of public affairs for the Ford Foundation, working under the eagle eye of educational philosopher Robert Maynard Hutchins, a former chancellor of the University of Chicago. Quigley moved to St. Louis in 1953, where he joined FleishmanHillard, and became a senior partner. His key clients included the Cardinals baseball team, Budweiser, Blue-Cross/Blue Shield, and Emerson Electric. In 1956, he took a one-year leave from FH and served as general manager of KETC.
He wrote four novels, a memoir on journalism in the 1930s, and three baseball books. One of the baseball books was “Baseball is a Funny Game” by Joe Garagiola, which became one of the top baseball books of all time. He also wrote the scripts for two local musicals, and produced a book of poetry, and countless magazine articles. His retirement job in 1980 was as editor of the former Midwest Motorist, where he assigned stories to new writers, most of whom he mentored.
A jazz enthusiast, Quigley also collected paintings and sculptures, and patronized local artists. He also co-founded a charity, the Aunts and Uncles, which provided shoes for poor children, and held an annual Christmas party for 5,000 children. He married Margaret Hertsgaard in 1939, and they celebrated their 60th anniversary just before his death in 2000. They had one daughter, Catherine Quigley Gurley, a journalist, who is currently editing a memoir on baseball.