Robert Matherne, 71st president, was born April 16, 1901, at White Castle, La.
He got his sea legs when he shipped out of Mobile, Ala., in 1920 on a vessel that took him to Japan, China, Honolulu, England and up and down both of the eastern and western seaboard of the U.S.
After a year, he landed in New Orleans and got a job as a cub reporter. He received his B.A. from the University of Alabama in 1927, paying his way by writing sports for various southern newspapers and handling sports publicity two years for the Alabama football team. During summer vacations, he worked for the Birmingham Age-Herald and the Montgomery (Ala.) Journal.
After graduation, Matherne spent three years writing sports for the Newspaper Enterprise Association in Cleveland, Ohio. After an 18-month stint as editor for the Beaumont Journal, he went to work for the Baytown Sun. In 1944 he became sole owner.
In 1936 he married Mary LeVerne Hester and they had one son.
In 1950 Matherne sold all of his interests in The Sun.
He was president of North & East Texas Press Association in 1947-48.