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FEATHER, WILLIAM A.

FEATHER, WILLIAM A. (25 Aug. 1889-7 Jan. 1981) founded a successful printing business but was best known as editor of the company's, The William Feather Magazine. A native of Jamestown, N.Y., he was brought to Cleveland in 1903 and graduated in 1906 from South High School. After earning an A.B. from Western Reserve Univ. (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE) in 1910, he spent 5 years as a reporter for the CLEVELAND PRESS. Feather then worked a year in public relations and in 1916 started The William Feather Magazine in the printing shop of a friend, David Gibson. Having married Ruth Presley (1888-1965) in 1912, he borrowed from her inheritance to buy out Gibson and start the WILLIAM FEATHER CO. in 1919. During the 1920s, Feather gained a national reputation as a "benevolent iconoclast" through his writings in his own organ and for such magazines as H.L. Mencken's The American Mercury. He maintained personal friendships with such opposites as Mencken and advertising executive Bruce Barton. As a member of the CITY CLUB OF CLEVELAND, he enjoyed arguing with the radicals at the "Soviet Table," but he later joined the UNION CLUB to press his single-tax views on a more conservative audience. His books included As We Were Saying (1921), Haystacks and Smokestacks (1923), The Ideals and Follies of Business (1927), and The Business of Life (1949). In 1941 he was separated, but never divorced, from his wife Ruth Feather, who had pursued her own career as an actress at the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE. Although he retired as president of the Wm. Feather Co. in favor of his son, Wm. Jr., in 1959, he continued to function as editor of his magazine. He was survived by his son and a daughter, Judith Carey.