Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 512

And that's where he met my mother and they were married in 1907, and that's how I happened to be born in Philadelphia.

I give you this very brief sketch of my father's background simply to indicate the kind of personality he was. He was a strong personality, and was generally considered the intellectual of the family. His autobiography, with accompanying papers, speeches, etc., was privately printed shortly after his death in 1931. Copies are available at the New York Times, and in New York City, Chattanooga and other public libraries [extremely interesting not only for his biography but also for picture of life in late 19th and early 20th centuries in U.S. and Europe].


That's interesting. What was his educational background?


His educational background was that he went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, which was then called Eastern Tennessee University [ETU]. It later became part of the University of Tennessee. Still exists. And he, although the family really had very, very little money, he went to the university working as a newspaper apprentice, on the side. He only stayed three years at the University of Tennessee, at ETU, and left without a degree to join his brother Adolph in Chattanooga. In fact, the family moved to Chattanooga from Knoxville because Adolph was already making a success of the Chattanooga Times and wanted my father to help him down there.

In 1930, my father went back to Knoxville, to the University of Tennessee, to receive his AB [Graduate in Arts] degree, which he had earned but had not gotten in 1880 because he had

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help