Jack Moseley, a veteran journalist and long-time editor of the Southwest Times Record, passed away Nov. 15 at his home in Fort Smith. He was 82.
Moseley, who was the last or one of the last newspaper reporters to interview President John F. Kennedy just minutes before the president was assassinated in Dallas, served as Times Record editor between 1975 and 2001.
“We are heartbroken to share that we lost our dad, Jack Moseley, yesterday afternoon. We are grateful that we were both with him at the time of his passing and that it was peaceful. We are so thankful for all the loving kindness and moments that many of you have shared with us and dad during this time,” noted his daughters Charlotte and Dixie.
Emon Mahony Jr., the chairman of Fort Smith-based Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. between 1977 to 1996 and former member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said Moseley was “one of my favorite people of all time.”
“The occasional sparring match with Jack was great fun. His greatest loyalties were to the truth and the news. His skill and fairness were shown when his readers always rated highest his letters to the editor (editorials). No other paper ever came close. RIP old friend!” Mahony noted in a statement to Talk Business & Politics.
Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Dawson for the Western District of Arkansas remembered Moseley as being a fair journalist with a focus on the community.
“He was one in a zillion in the newspaper business. Jack had an unusual ability to express in words what he was thinking. He was objective, he was fair and honest, and he called them like he saw them,” Dawson told Talk Business & Politics. “He had many friends and he will be missed. He was a great defender of the freedom of the press and tried to do everything he thought right for the good of the community.”
Michael Tilley, executive editor and co-owner of Talk Business & Politics and a former employee and colleague of Moseley, recalled Moseley as being his first introduction to the classic journalist who had a true passion for the profession.
“The key lesson learned from Jack was to be aware of the cycles of prejudice, personalities and politics, and to know that perspective and context are critical in assessing the most accurate reporting of said cycles,” Tilley said. “One could never doubt his interest in getting the best and most honest story, no matter if it was a short story about a planning commission meeting, or a lengthy story about a complicated issue.”
Talk Business & Politics will update this story over the weekend.
Following is Moseley’s formal obit.
Jack Moseley, 82, editor of the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith for more than a quarter-century (1975 to 2001) passed away peacefully on November 15, 2019 at home with his daughters at his side.
Jack was born on a cotton farm in East Texas (Marion County) to A.A. and Ethel Ann (Claytor) Moseley. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
Jack was a national award winning reporter, columnist and editor that had been read by millions of people around the world, most notably the “Last Day” written under deadline pressure the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Moseley is believed to have been the last newsman to have direct contact with the slain president before he was gunned down on November 22, 1963.
Moseley’s honors include two gold medals for the advancement of human rights from the National Conference of Christians and Jews (Vietnamese refugees in 1975, Cuban refugees in 1980) a White House citation for reporting on poverty in Fort Worth, the first in-depth series profiling the black population of a major city plus major awards from Dartmouth for promoting economic understanding in America, the American Health Care Association, the Society of Professional Journalist, the Academy of Family Physicians, United Press International and the Associated Press.
TIME Magazine recognized his successful efforts to free a black man falsely accused of armed robbery. He was one of the first Mark Ethridge Graduate Journalism Fellows in the country and a founding director of the nation’s first think tank for Journalism, New Directions for News at the University of Missouri. He was a graduate of UT Austin and the author of two non-fiction books, one novel and contributor to both high school and college journalism texts. In Fort Worth he spent 15 years rising through the ranks from police reporter to the managing editor.
In 1975 he became the editor of the Southwest Times Record and held that position for 26 years. His staff and reporters and photographers were recipients of numerous states, regional and national awards.
Moseley served on the boards of Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce and Bost Foundation and was instrumental in creating Leadership Fort Smith and the Old Fort Festival and created the Community Christmas Card that had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local veterans, families and children. The card also has been adopted by other newspapers across this country as well as in Canada, England and Australia.
He is survived by his two daughters, Dixie Connor and her husband Michael of Gurnee, IL and Charlotte A. Moseley of Fort Smith.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00PM, Friday, November 22, 2019 at Ocker-Putman Funeral Home Chapel. A private burial will be at the U.S. National Cemetery prior to the service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Kitties and Kanines at 4900 Rogers Ave. #100A Fort Smith, AR 72903, in remembrance of his beloved rescue companion of many years, Ben.