Douglas Martin

Doug Martin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Douglas Martin (deceased)

A Pulitzer Prize winner with the Detroit Free Press, Doug Martin was the first head of the UA journalism department. He is recalled by many Wildcat alumni as their chief mentor in the 1950s when the paper was part of the department. He was also author of “The Lamp in the Desert,” a history of the UA.

2 thoughts on “Douglas Martin”

  1. Best practical teacher I ever had. He started every class with the students wiping out a story about the Tucson weather and an obit from his notes on the old Underwriter typewriters on foolscap paper. He would apply his blue pencil if the story wasn’t pithy and didn’t have the 5 w’s in the first few paragraphs
    During the summer vacation he would be the editor of the Tombstone Epitaph.


    I’m trying to remember the Pulitzer Prize story as he told it. I believe he won one for editing, but my favorite concerns a “small” event he was assigned to cover when a younger journalist. The event was a patriotic celebration featuring a parade of veterans from WWII. What do you say about a bunch of fat old guys wearing caps and trying their best to march down the main drag while still hung over from celebrations the night before?

    Doug did it with great simplicity. He stationed himself at a window on the third floor of a bank building on the parade route. He would describe a line of old vets marching down Main Street with silly signs and goofy balloons, capering like high school kids. He wrote an observant descriptive sentence. Then he asked himself, “What should we remember here?” Following the description, he wrote”

    “Arnold P. Nordstrom, Sgt. Received the Purple Heart during the D-Day landing. Later, despite a broken shoulder, Sgt. Nordstrom rescued three comrades wounded during the Battle of the Bulge, for which courage and bravery he received the Medal of Honor.”
    Doug’s vehement theme was : Observe, question, remember!

    Martin was about 5’2″ and built like Santa Claus. He had a glass eye and a high, squeaky voice. These were the externals. And the internals? Keenness of observation, pointedness of questions, and a breath-taking memory. We, his students, would have stormed Old Main with sharpened pencils and carbon-paper spitballs if he’d made that assignment.

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