08 February, 2009

Arthur Page

Arthur W. Page was a vice president and director of AT&T from 1927 to 1947.

Arthur was born 10 September 1883 to Walter Hines Page and his wife Willa A. Page of Aberdeen, North Carolina. Arthur helped his father with the monthly magazine World's Work, and in 1913 took over as editor from his father.

In 1927 Walter S. Gifford hired Page to become vice-president for public relations at AT&T. One of his first assignments was to prepare a speech for President Gifford to present in October that year to the National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners meeting in Dallas, Texas.

In the early 1900s, AT&T had assessed that 90 percent of its press coverage was negative, which was reduced to 60 percent by changing its business practices and disseminating information to the press. According to business historian John Brooks, Page positioned the company as a public utility and increased the public's appreciation for its contributions to society. On the other hand, Stuart Ewen wrote that AT&T used its advertising dollars with newspapers to manipulate its coverage and had their public relations team write feature stories that were published as if they were written by independent journalists.

In 1941, when the book The Bell Telephone System by A.W. Page was published, the Dallas speech was quoted in chapter 2: "Responsibility for such a large part of the entire telephone service of the country...imposes on the management an unusual obligation to the public..."

 He is sometimes referred to as "the father of corporate public relations" for his work at AT&T. The company was experiencing resistance from the public to its monopolization efforts. Page is said to have established a series of public relations heuristics generally referred to as the Page Principles. In fact, they were composed by Jack Koten, Larry Foster and Ed Block, founding members of the eponymous Arthur W. Page Society, which acknowledges that the Page Principles are derived from Mr. Page's works. No words or phrases from Mr. Page's writings appear in the principles and none of the Page Principles authors worked with or for Arthur Page. It is unclear if any knew or met Mr. Page or that a bibliography or notes survive.

Arthur died in September 1960.

Harry Vardon

Harry Vardon was a Jersey professional golfer and member of the fabled Great Triumvirate of the sport in his day, along with John Henry Taylor and James Braid. He won The Open Championship a record six times and also won the U.S. Open.

Vardon was born in Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands. As a child growing up on the island of Jersey, he did not play much golf. Inspired by his older brother, Tom, he eventually took up the game in his teens and by age 20 he was so good that he turned professional. He was the first professional golfer to play in Knickerbockers -- the "proper" Englishman dressed in an uncomfortable shirt and tie with a buttoned jacket. Nonetheless, within a few years he became golf's first superstar.

In 1896, Vardon won the first of his record six Open Championships (a record that still stands today). In 1900, he became golf's first international celebrity when he toured the United States playing in more than 80 matches and capping it off with a victory in the U.S. Open. He was the runner-up of the 1913 U.S. Open, an event portrayed in the film The Greatest Game Ever Played. At the age of 50, Vardon was the runner-up at the 1920 U.S. Open.

During his career, Vardon won 62 golf tournaments, including one run of 14 in a row, still a record to this day. He won the German Open in 1911 and the British PGA Matchplay Championship in 1912. He popularized the grip that bears his name, one still used by over 90 percent of golfers. In his later years, he became a golf course architect, designing several courses in Britain. Following a bout with tuberculosis, he struggled with health problems for years but turned to coaching and writing golf instruction and inspirational books.

During his peak years, Vardon was known for his exceptional accuracy and control with all clubs, the greatest ever seen to that stage. However, after his comeback to the game following a prelonged absence during which he suffered from tuberculosis, he suffered serious problems with his short-range putting, and several commentators claim that he could have added to his list of majors had this disability not afflicted him.

Vardon died in 1937 in Totteridge, Hertfordshire, England.

Ted Ray

Edward R. G. "Ted" Ray was a British professional golfer born on the Isle of Jersey.

Ray was best known for participating in a playoff for the 1913 U.S. Open Championship with Harry Vardon and the winner Francis Ouimet, which was the subject of a Disney movie entitled, "The Greatest Game Ever Played". However, Ray had many professional successes, including winning The Open Championship at Muirfield in 1912, and the U.S. Open at Inverness in 1920. He was player/captain for Great Britain during the "unofficial source event" for Ryder Cup competition at the East Course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, Great Britain in 1926. He was again player/captain in the first official event in 1927.

Ray was known for his portly build and prodigious length off the tee, though his ball often landed in awful lies. His recovery powers were said to be phenomenal and cartoonists usually caricatured him with a niblick in hand, festooned with clumps of heather and saplings, with an inseparable pipe clamped between his teeth.

Ray's first position as a club professional was held at Churston Golf Club, Churston, Devon. During his time here he was encouraged by the committee to enter the British Open Championships in 1900, 1901 and 1902, granting him a week's leave of absence and £5 expenses for each meeting. After leaving Churston he was the head professional at Oxhey Golf Club near Watford in Hertfordshire from 1912 until 1941, when he retired due to illness.

Harry Carey

Harry Carey was an American actor and one of silent film's earliest superstars.

Carey was born Henry DeWitt Carey II in The Bronx, New York, the son of Ella J. Ludlum and Henry DeWitt Carey, a prominent lawyer and judge. He attended Hamilton Military Academy then studied law at New York University. After a boating accident which led to pneumonia, Carey wrote a play while recuperating and toured the country in it for three years, earning a great deal of money, all of which evaporated after his next play was a failure. In 1911, his friend Henry B. Walthall introduced him to director D.W. Griffith, for whom Carey was to make many films.

Although Carey, one of Hollywood's finest character actors of the sound era, received an Oscar nomination for his role as the President of the Senate in the 1939 film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, he is best remembered as one of the first stars of the Western film genre. He married at least twice and perhaps a third time (census records for 1910 indicate he had a wife named Clare E. Carey, and some references state that he was also married to actress Fern Foster). His last marriage was to actress Olive Fuller Golden (1896-1988). They purchased a large ranch in Saugus, California, north of Los Angeles. Their son, Harry Carey, Jr. would become a character actor, and most famous for his roles in Westerns. Father and son both appeared (albeit in different scenes) in the 1948 film, Red River, which was filmed late in 1946 and went unreleased for almost two years.

Carey made his Broadway stage debut in 1940.

A smoker, Harry Carey died in 1947 from a combination of lung cancer, emphysema and coronary thrombosis, at the age of 69. He was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in the family mausoleum in The Bronx, New York.