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Remembering Leon Hale: Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary

Houston & Texas History, In the News

Photograph of Leon Hale via the Leon Hale Papers, University of Houston Special Collections.

In a journalistic career that has spanned over 65 years, with a daily column at the Houston Post that ran from 1948-2002, Leon Hale has literally written about the who, what, when, where, and why that so many journalists attempt to capture. His folksy, plain, straightforward style of writing, as he eschewed fancy complex words, elevated the ordinary musings and experiences into the extraordinary which would have his readers laugh out loud or cry, sometimes both, and in the process take his readers along on his adventures to small towns and locales all across Texas and beyond.

Nothing was too mundane or ordinary to write about, whether it was his personal experience of trusting and biting into a jalapeño pepper at a roadside store near Somerville and then describing its agonizing effects in detail, to the little things we all notice when the power goes out–the quiet, the darkness, neighbors congregating outside, and especially no A/C in the summer.

It’s these little slices of humanity and the interesting cast of characters that he has come across along life’s journey as a reporter that has endeared him to many of his faithful readers along the way for so many years. He’s touched many lives as the history of families and the places he has visited are captured in his daily columns with the Houston Post.

The Leon Hale Papers are part of the Houston & Texas History Research Collection at the University of Houston Special Collections.

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2 thoughts on “Remembering Leon Hale: Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary

  1. I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Leon Hale. I not only enjoyed his writing but enjoyed his company as well. I remember he couldn’t understand why I would be interested in collecting his papers, but I’ve never regretted getting the collection started.

  2. Loved reading Leon Hale’s columns; always turned to his column even before reading the headlines! He was our modern day Mark Twain.
    Glad to know his writings will be preserved.