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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

MCLAUGHLIN, RICHARD JAMES

MCLAUGHLIN, RICHARD JAMES

MCLAUGHLIN, RICHARD JAMES (14 Aug. 1913-28 Oct. 1986) spent his entire journalistic career with the CLEVELAND PRESS. A native of Elyria, O., he was brought to the Cleveland area at the age of 2 by his parents, James and Cleo McLaughlin. He was a graduate of Lakewood High School and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Hired by LOUIS B. SELTZER, he joined the Press in 1936 as a police reporter. He became book editor in 1942, shortly before induction into the U.S. Army during WORLD WAR II. He saw combat as an infantry sergeant in Europe, winning a Bronze Star. As a general assignment reporter and rewrite man at the Press, McLaughlin covered such stories as the TORSO MURDERS, the SHEPPARD MURDER CASE, and the Kent State shootings. To most Press readers, however, he was probably best known for such offbeat stunts as camping in a tent outside CLEVELAND MUNICIPAL STADIUM for 3 days in 1948, waiting for a ticket to the World Series. In the pursuit of enlightening readers, he had a Fenn College chemistry professor process his shirt into a compound that would allow him to eat it, and emptied a tube of toothpaste on his kitchen table to determine how many inches of paste it contained. He retired from the Press only 3 weeks before the paper's final edition in 1982 and was inducted into the CLEVELAND JOURNALISM HALL OF FAME the following year. McLaughlin was also a past president of the CLEVELAND NEWSPAPER GUILD. He died in Sarasota, Fla., survived by Beatrice, his wife since 1939, and 2 children, Richard J., Jr., and Jamie Lawrence.