Famed journalist focus of Thursday talk in Forks

FORKS — Associate professor of journalism Rich Riski will talk about Egbert “Edward” R. Murrow and his ties to the West End at the Forks branch of Peninsula College at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The community is invited to Riski’s talk, part of the college’s free Studium West lecture series at 481 S. Forks Ave.

Born in Polecat Creek, N.C., Murrow was the descendant of four Scottish prisoners who sailed to Boston aboard a British merchantman ship, the John and Sara.

His Quaker parents, Roscoe and Ethel, then crossed America in 1913 with their three young children aboard the transcontinental railroad to Seattle to join relatives in the Pacific Northwest.

Murrow and his older brothers, Dewey and Lacey, spent their formative years in Skagit County near Blanchard until his parents were forced to move West once again. They landed in Beaver Creek on the Olympic Peninsula.

Murrow mapped out land for Bloedell-Donovan Lumber and became a State College of Washington (now Washington State University) basketball player, award-winning debater and thespian.

After college graduation in 1930, he moved to New York City to begin his public career in international education and diplomacy. Five years later, he joined Columbia Broadcasting System and CBS Radio.

Murrow is arguably the most influential journalist in American history, Riski said.

Murrow helped save many Jews and academics from Hitler’s concentration camps and reported news from London rooftops during World War II.

After the war, Murrow continued in radio and then television, where he challenged the fear-mongering campaign of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy on his “See It Now” broadcast.

Finally, Murrow brought life-saving clarity to migration policies from the East Coast to the West Coast with a documentary called “Harvest of Shame” broadcast on Thanksgiving Day, 1960.

Murrow ended his career with service to the administration of President John F. Kennedy as head of the U.S. Information Agency.

For more information, contact [email protected]

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