Kenneth L. Dixon
| Kenneth Lee "Ken" Dixon
(Youngest war correspondent in World War II; affiliated with seven newspapers, including The Lake Charles American Press and The Baton Rouge Advocate)
|Born|| April 3, 1915 |
Colchester, McDonough County, Illinois, USA
|Died|| June 29, 1986|
|Spouse|| Ola Maye Montgomery Dixon (married 1938-1978, her death)|
Kenneth Lee Dixon, known as Ken Dixon (April 3, 1915 – June 29, 1986), was a prominent journalist who reported, edited, and penned columns for seven newspapers, including two in Louisiana -- The Lake Charles American Press and The Baton Rouge Advocate. He was the youngest of the war correspondents during World War II.
Dixon was born in McDonough County, Illinois, near the small town of Colchester to Roy Lee Dixon (1885-1939) and the former Martha Russell Mourning (1886-1956). He was educated in public schools and then obtained a two-year professional teaching diploma from the then Western Illinois State Teacher's College, since Western Illinois University, in Macomb, also located in McDonough County. He taught in rural schools for a time but then launched a newspaper career that began with The Macomb Daily Journal, at which he was a reporter from 1934 to 1936. He was thereafter a reporter for the Canton Daily Ledger in Canton in Fulton County, Illinois.
Between 1936 and 1942, he went west to edit The Hobbs Daily News in Hobbs in Lea County in eastern New Mexico and the Carlsbad Current Argus in Carlsbad in Eddy County. On July 1, 1938, he married the former Ola Maye Montgomery (1914–1978) of Hobbs. They had no children.
Dixon joined the Associated Press in Washington, D.C., in 1942. He was the youngest war correspondent in the North Africa, European, and the Pacific theaters of operation. His reporting in World War II won him commendations from the United States Army and Navy. He received a citation from the Society of Professional Journalists, then known as Sigma Delta Chi. He accompanied more than twenty-five air combat missions and was the only newspaperman present when American forces broke out of Anzio and advanced on Rome. trapped behind Nazi lines in the 1944 Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He covered the war exploits of William Stewart Walker of Wnnfield, who was a Republican candidate for Louisiana's former 8th congressional district in 1964.
From 1946-1949, Dixon was a syndicated columnist and reporter for International News Service and King Features. He was the editor and columnist of The Lake Charles American Press from 1949 to 1961. There, he helped expose a Louisiana gambling syndicate and won the praise of a judge who cleared him of defamation. During Dixon's tenure, The American Press doubled in circulation.
He then became managing editor of The Meridian Star in Meridian in Lauderdale County]] in eastern Mississippi, a position that he held from 1961 to 1964. He was a syndicated columnist for United Features from 1964 to 1967, when he became a reporter and editorial page editor for the capitol newspaper, The Baton Rouge Advocate. He remained withThe Advocate only until 1971. While Dixon was at the Advocate, the managing editor was Margaret Richardson Dixon, the first woman to hold the top newsroom position. The two were not related.
After he left The Advocate, Dixon spent his last years as a free-lance writer. He died in Baton Rouge. He was survived by a sister, Dorothy Dixon Burgard (1913-2010), and two brothers, Charles Gilbert Dixon (1917-2006) and Kyle Dixon all of Colchester. Dixon was cremated.His remains were interred, along with family members at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Colchester.
- Kenneth L. Dixon. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on April 13, 2020.
- Dixon, Kenneth L.. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on April 13, 2020.
- Obituary: Kenneth L. Dixon, The New York Times, July 1, 1986.
- Kenneth L. Dixon, "Major William S. Walker Leads Yanks From Nazis Lines In Daring Exploit; Beat Off Numerous Attacks In 6 Days: Winnfield Officer Employs Cage Strategy To Bring Men To Safety," Winnfield News-American, December 29, 1944.
- Ray Erwin, "Ken Dixon Becomes Roving Columnist, Editor and Publisher Magazine, April 25, 1964.
- Charles Gilbert Dixon. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on April 13, 2020.
- Kenneth L. Dixon obituary, The Baton Rouge Advocate, June 30, 1986.