Friday, February 10, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: February 10, 1906 – George Barry Bingham, Sr.

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
George Barry Bingham, Sr., became president of the company that published the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times at the death of his father, Robert Worth Bingham , in 1937. Later he also headed WHAS radio and television stations and Standard Gravure Corp. He was chairman of the board when the Bingham companies were sold in 1986. His newspapers had won six Pulitzer prizes.

He was born February 10, 1906, in Louisville. His mother, Eleanor (Miller) Bingham, died in 1913 after an automobile accident in which he was involved. He attended schools in Louisville, Asheville, North Carolina, and Concord, Massachusetts. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1928, he traveled and wrote a novel. On June 9, 1931, he married Mary Clifford Caperton (Bingham) of Richmond, Virginia. They had five children: George Barry (Bingham), Jr., Sarah ("Sallie") Montague (Bingham), Eleanor Miller, Robert Worth III, and Jonathan Worth.

After working at WHAS radio in 1930, Bingham became a police reporter for the Louisville Times, then a general assignment reporter, Washington correspondent, and editorial writer before holding managerial positions. He went on active duty as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve in May 1941. He was on special assignment in London in 1942 and served as public relations officer for U.S. Naval Forces in Europe until being transferred to the Pacific theater in 1945. He was present at the Japanese surrender, and received two Bronze Stars. Bingham traveled to Germany, Austria, and Trieste in 1946 and again in 1947 at the behest of the secretary of the army. He was chief of the mission of the Economic Cooperation Administration to France in 1949 and 1950, when harbors were reopened, dams and factories constructed, and railroads put back in operation under the Marshall Plan. He toured Asia with his friend Adlai Stevenson in 1953 and served as cochairman of volunteers in Stevenson's presidential campaign in 1956.

During Bingham's reign, the newspapers and radio and television stations championed many causes -- civil rights, military preparedness, mental health, ethics, and the environment, while supporting educational and cultural activities in the region. Bingham's philanthropy included the Crusade for Children, company contributions of 5 percent of pretax earnings, and more than $50 million through the Mary and Barry Bingham, Sr., Fund.

Bingham was a longstanding participant in the affairs of Berea College , Harvard University, the University of Louisville , Pine Mountain Settlement School , American Press Institute, American Society of Newspaper Editors, International Press Institute, Asia Foundation, English-Speaking Union, National Portrait Gallery, various preservation and mental health groups, and several presidential commissions. He was an accomplished speaker, a facile and precise writer. He wrote poetry and was a devotee of Shakespeare and theater in general.

He received the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award from the University of Kentucky, the William Allen White Award from the University of Kansas, and the Roger Williams Straus Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, as well as the titles Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur.

Bingham died on August 15, 1988, and was buried in Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery. His personal papers were given to the Filson Club.

SAMUEL W. THOMAS, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Bingham, Barry, Samuel W. Thomas, and University Press of Kentucky. Barry Bingham : A Man of His Word. Lexington, Ky.: U of Kentucky, 1993. Print. Kentucky Remembered.
PN4874.B48 A3 1993, Young Library - 5th Floor

Bingham, Barry. Poems. Cambridge, Mass.]: Priv. Print., 1923. Print.
811 B5133po, Special Collections Research Center

Tifft, Susan E., and Alex S. Jones. The Patriarch : The Rise and Fall of the Bingham Dynasty. New York: Summit, 1991. Print.
CT274.B52 T54 1991, Young Library -- Books - 3rd Floor

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