Seltzer, Louis Benson

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SELTZER, LOUIS BENSON (1897–1980), U.S. newspaper editor. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Seltzer was the son of Charles Alden Seltzer, who became a successful writer of western stories. Seltzer joined the Cleveland Press as a reporter in 1916. In 1928 he became its editor and made it the most widely read daily in Ohio. Using the power of the press to confront and condemn injustice, he tried to thwart it at every opportunity. Also dedicated to making the paper as relevant to the readers' lives as he could, he created departments to deal with almost every major and minor interest of readers as well as a public service bureau that oversaw a wide range of annual projects for the benefit or entertainment of readers. He believed that "If you don't get the flavor of the town into your paper, you've missed the boat." A dynamic personality, Seltzer became a force in American journalism, serving on many national editorial committees and on the Pulitzer Prize committee. He retired as editor in 1966.

Seltzer also served as the national director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. However, not wanting to relegate himself to any single local group in Cleveland, he spread his time and energy among such diverse positions as a leader of the Boy Scout organization; head of the Welfare Federation; chairman of the United Community Defense Services; president of the Convention and Trade Show Bureau; and director of the ymca. His autobiography, The Years Were Good, appeared in 1956. He also wrote Six and God (1966).

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]