RJI Fellow Tad Bartimus will soon be inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the Connect e-newsletter, which is produced for former and retired Associated Press employees and others in the industry

Tad Bartimus with her mother in 1948

The honor of being included in the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame brings my life full circle. I was born in Trenton, Missouri, and raised in Belton. I created the Belton Star-Herald's "Teen Talk" column at age 16, soon after I was hired to sweep floors, empty waste baskets and take subscriptions on Saturday. I can't remember when I didn't want to be a journalist.

My first grownup reporting job was on The Kansas City Star as a summer intern shadowing the night cop shop reporter. I met Henry J. Waters III when I was 19 and persuaded him to create the job of campus correspondent for his Columbia Daily Tribune newspaper so I could take it. He did, and his 

paycheck helped me rush through the University of Missouri School of Journalism in three and a half years.

In January, 1969 I went to work in Topeka, Kansas, as a legislative relief staffer for The Associated Press. From there I went around the world on AP's international air travel card for more than 25 years, reporting from four continents and winding up as a special correspondent roaming most of America while wearing out three company cars. It was a great life because I worked with, and met, great people everywhere I went.

This past year I returned to the Missouri School of Journalism as a Reynolds Journalism Institute resident fellow, marveling at my luck to be back in a place I fell in love with 50 years ago when I first walked past the Columns. 

I never thought anything could equal my delight in receiving a lifetime achievement Missouri Honor Medal from my alma mater in 1990. I was wrong. I am honored to be inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame. My late mother, Dixie Lee Swearingen Bartimus, was associate editor of the Belton Star-Herald and a dedicated community newspaperwoman for many years. She always said that becoming a member of the Missouri Press Association was one of the proudest accomplishments of her life. I share this award with her and dedicate it to her memory.

Tad Bartimus  
Residential fellow


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