Tebbel, John (William) 1912-2004

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TEBBEL, John (William) 1912-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born November 16, 1912, in Boyne City, MI; died October 10, 2004, in Durham, NC. Journalist, educator, historian, and author. A former reporter, editor, and journalism professor, Tebbel was an expert on the history of book publishing and wrote several authoritative works on the subject. Journalism was his first career, and the precocious Tebbel found a job at the Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Times as a stringer when he was only fourteen years old. He later attended Central Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1935, and the prestigious Columbia University school of journalism, where he graduated in 1937. After returning to the Mt. Pleasant paper as a city editor for a year, and working for Newsweek for another year, he was hired by the Detroit Free Press as a reporter. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, he worked for a string of periodicals, including the Providence Journal, American Mercury, and the New York Times. From 1943 until 1946, Tebbel was an associate editor for E. P. Dutton, the New York City book publisher. He spent the remainder of his career, from 1949 until 1976, teaching at New York University, where he became a full professor of journalism in 1954 and headed the department from 1954 to 1965. In addition to this work, Tebbel was a prolific writer, primarily of nonfiction, including history, biography, and, most notably, book publishing. His most ambitious work is the four-volume A History of Book Publishing in the United States (1972-80); other nonfiction works by Tebbel include The Marshall Fields: A Study in Wealth (1947), George Washington's America (1954), The Compact History of the American Newspaper (1963; revised edition, 1969), The Media in America: A Social and Political History (1974), and Turning the World upside Down: Inside the American Revolution (1993).



New York Times, October 15, 2004, p. C8.