Former Journal Gazette editorial page editor Larry Hayes, who never planned to become a journalist, will be recognized today as among the best in his field.
Hayes and the late Fort Wayne broadcaster Hilliard Gates are among five inductees in the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. The ceremony is in Indianapolis.
In his prepared comments, Hayes says he expected to become a minister. But after finishing his second divinity degree he realized “I had too many issues with church doctrine.”
With a third degree he taught high school English in Kentucky, Ohio and Fort Wayne. Then, with no journalism background, he walked into The Journal Gazette offices and expressed an interest in writing. Hired as an editorial writer in 1974, Hayes was named editorial page editor in 1978. His passions were juvenile justice, school desegregation and mental illness among many others. Under his leadership, the editorial staff was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
“I had found my mission: To advocate for the underdog, the disenfranchised, the people who were fighting real battles.”
Hayes left his editing job in 2000.
Gates is recognized for his years announcing first for WOWO radio and later WKJG. In addition to high school games, Gates called pro basketball games of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons and Indiana, Purdue, and Notre Dame football. He broadcast an NBA All-Star game for the Mutual network and play-by-play for two Rose Bowls on NBC. Gates also re-created the historic finish in his role in the film “Hoosiers.”
Others being honored:
• Ken Armstrong: Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, Armstrong is a Carmel native and Purdue University graduate who has worked with The Marshall Project, which reports on criminal justice issues, and the Seattle Times. He joined ProPublica as a senior writer in 2017.
• Sandra Eisert: The country's first female newspaper picture editor, Eisert was also the first picture editor for the White House, the first woman picture editor of the Washington Post and for the Associated Press' Washington Bureau, where she ran the picture network for the Southern U.S.
• Thomas Wayne Tuley: First as editor of the Evansville Press and then as editor and publisher of the Evansville Courier, Tuley, an Evansville native, led the company through a transition of ownership. In addition, he directed the design, construction and move to a new building, where the publication earned international awards for print quality.