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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BERGENER, ALBERT EDWARD MYRNE (A.E.M.)

BERGENER, ALBERT EDWARD MYRNE (A.E.M.)

BERGENER, ALBERT EDWARD MYRNE (A.E.M.) (5 Sept. 1875-14 May 1950) was, in the words of one of his reporters, the "cussing, shouting, reporter-insulting, hard-boiled" city editor of the CLEVELAND NEWS. The son of Henry and Katherine (Casyl) Bergener, he was born and raised in Chicago. He dropped out of the Univ. of Notre Dame at 19 to commence his journalism career with several Chicago papers. Brought to Cleveland in 1912 to become city editor of the CLEVELAND LEADER, Bergener sent back for his fiancee Maud Woodruff, who became his 2d wife on 12 Apr. 1913. He became city editor of the News when the Leader ceased publication in 1917. He personally obtained a murder confession from local gangster Leonard "Kid" Lyons in 1917 and uncovered a bootlegging scandal in the LAKEWOOD police dept. which resulted in a dozen federal indictments during the Prohibition era. Tracking down fugitive embezzler Geo. J.J. McKay in 1927, Bergener kept him under wraps and milked him for several exclusives before turning him over to police. Described as possessing "a granite face and eyes like drills," he advised such cub reporters as HOWARD BEAUFAIT, LOUIS CLIFFORD, and JACK CLOWSER to "Make yourself a human question mark." Bergener was made managing editor in 1931 but left in 1934 to serve the News as Washington correspondent. He tried retirement in Fla. in 1935 but returned to Cleveland 2 years later to become public relations consultant for businessman ARTHUR B. MCBRIDE. He died in his Lakewood home, survived by his wife and 2 sons in Chicago from his first marriage, Wallace and Elbert.