1978-79 Fred V. Barbee Jr. El Campo Leader News

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Fred V. Barbee Jr., 101st president, began at age 12 carrying a paper route in the afternoons for the Brownwood Bulletin and in the mornings for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

He entered the University of Texas Austin and was hired as senior apprentice at the University Press (1946), but by 1949 was a journeyman printer working nights and going to school in the daytime.

In 1950 he received his BBA from UT and he married Eleanor McColl. She was woman’s editor of the El Campo Leader-News. They had three children, including Chris, who is managing editor.

In 1952 the Barbees moved to Miami, Okla., where he worked in the advertising department of the Miami News-Record. Three months later he returned and became publisher of the Lamesa Daily Reporter.

In 1957 C.C. Woodson and Barbee purchased the Seminole Sentinel. Barbee published the Sentinel for 11 years prior to buying the El Campo newspaper and radio station in partnership with Woodson and his longtime friend, Dick Elam.

Barbee was president of West Texas Press Association (1967-68), South Texas Press Association (1985-86) and Texas Gulf Coast Press Association (1975-76).

Barbee received TPA's Golden 50 Award in 1991. His son Chris Barbee was TPA president in 1991-92. He died Oct. 2, 2007 (full obituary)