Burl Osborne was a man of talent, determination, and courage against obstacles. All those qualities are reflected in this book. He was a friend and valued colleague—a man I admired.
(Walter R. Mears, Associated Press reporter for forty-five years and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist)
"Wolfe (The Murchisons) does justice in this comprehensive biography to the inspiring life of journalist Burl Osborne (1937–2012), who during his career led both the Associated Press and the Dallas Morning News. Born in a Kentucky coal camp, Osborn suffered a bad case of strep throat at age six, wasn’t expected to survive his teen years, and suffered kidney disease, eventual failure, and frequent dialysis. He nevertheless overcame the odds and enrolled in college in 1956, where a chance question from a professor—“Anybody here want to be a cub reporter?”—sparked his career. In 1957, he joined The Ashland Daily Independent, which led to his job at the AP. He climbed the ladder, becoming managing editor in 1977 and being elected chairman by 2001. Meanwhile, his tenure at the Dallas Morning News, which started in 1980, was so successful it ran its city rival out of business. Photos and excerpts from Osborne’s own writing bring his colorful personality to life: he captured the nation’s attention, for example, with reports on a man in West Virginia who nearly lost his dog in a mine shaft but emerged “half laughing and almost crying as he carried his 3-year-old rabbit hound off the mountain.” The result is a moving testament to a consequential figure." (Publishers Weekly)
Burl was wildly unique . . . I’ve never met anyone in the media business like him. He was the real deal.
(Morton H. Meyerson, former executive of Electronic Data Systems and current chairman of 2M Companies, Inc)
Today, more than ever, America needs more Burl Osbornes . . . tough, demanding but compassionate, a fighter, a competitor, and a newsman committed to reporting the news in a balanced, honest,
and fair manner.
(Dolph C. Simons, Jr., editor of The Lawrence Journal-World and chairman of the World Company)
Burl served on the board of CPJ for fifteen years . . . [He] had an uncanny ability to identify the key issues, ask the relevant questions, and build a consensus around an informed decision. It was a marvel
to watch him work . . . His service contributed enormously to . . . the defense of persecuted journalists around the world seeking to bring the truth to light.
(Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists)
Every word in Burl rang true to me. I could almost hear him speaking in my ear. I laughed many times and cried a few as well. (Linda Quick, Burl Osborne's longtime friend, business associate, and retired executive vice president of marketing for Foley's department store chain)