PARIS – A Paris man who has worked in journalism since 1958 will be inducted into the Maine Press Association’s Hall of Fame on Oct. 12.

Robert Moorehead, 69, was one of four men chosen for the honor by a seven-member committee in June. The Hall of Fame is in Dunn Hall at the University of Maine in Orono.

“I don’t think you ever anticipate something like this,” Moorehead said. “You can say, ‘Geez, maybe I did do a pretty good job after all.'”

Moorehead grew up in Harrison, Norway and Paris, graduating from the Paris High School in 1956. He began his journalism career with the Advertiser-Democrat, selling advertising and working as a sports writer.

While attending the University of Alabama, Moorehead did Sunday profiles and freelance work for the Birmingham Sunday News magazine. During this time, Moorehead contributed to the coverage of the Civil Rights movement and the university’s integration.

Moorehead returned to Maine to work with the Westbrook American, and said the task of running the paper was left to him when the owner was elected to the state Senate.

“I don’t think he had any idea that he was going to win, except that was the year Lyndon Johnson was running against Barry Goldwater,” Moorehead said. “He just kind of dumped the newspaper in my lap.”

With only three staff members, Moorehead said he was in charge of generating and editing stories, getting the paper to a printer, and delivering it to newsstands.

Moorehead went on to work with the Guy Gannett Publishing Co. in 1965, serving as a district correspondent for Oxford County after moving back to the area.

From 1970 to 1976, Moorehead did reporting and editing work in Portland, commuting from his home in the Oxford Hills. He did general reporting for the Portland Evening Express and housing and waterfront reporting for the Maine Sunday Telegram. Moorehead also served as a sports editor and Sunday columnist for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram.

During his time in the sports department, Moorehead covered the games of the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and New England Patriots. He and a portable typewriter were also present to cover Secretariat’s Triple Crown victory in 1973 at Belmont Stakes.

“You just got goose bumps,” Moorehead said. “It was a marvelous, marvelous experience.”

From 1975 to 1976, Moorehead also served as a city editor for the Portland Evening Express.

“That was when it became work,” he said.

After two years as assistant managing editor of the Maine Sunday Telegram, Moorehead became the assistant general manager for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Waterville. He was there less than a year before becoming the paper’s general manager. He served in that role from 1979 until 1991.

Moorehead praised the staff of the Sentinel, including a “Colby pipeline” of talented youth, saying they had helped to make “a really excellent newspaper.” While serving as general manager, the Sentinel was chosen by the American Society of Newspaper Editors as one of the top 10 newspapers in the United States with a circulation under 50,000 subscribers.

Moorehead said the best part of his journalism career was the interaction with a wide range of people, from Joe Namath to President Gerald Ford.

“You meet so many different people, really interesting people,” he said.

Since his retirement, Moorehead has moved back to the area from Waterville. He has written two novels, assisted his wife with a real estate business, and worked on his golf game.

“I get a lot more reading done than I’ve ever had a chance to do,” he added.

The association’s Hall of Fame was established in 1998. This year also saw the induction of Bill Caldwell, Peter M. Dambourg Jr. and Ted Sylvester. The four new inductees will bring the number of names in the Hall of Fame to 41.

The induction ceremony will take place at the Maine Press Association’s fall conference Oct. 12 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.


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