James Reston

The Ohio Connection

He had a wonderful humility about him, nothing pompous or bombastic [about this] small town boy from Dayton, Ohio.
—R. W. Apple, Jr.of the New York Times

“You can take politics out of the gutter, but you can’t take the gutter out of politics.”
—James Reston, speaking at the OSU Charter Day Convocation in 1970.

  • James (Scotty) Reston and his family settled in Dayton after immigrating to the United States from Scotland in 1920.
  • His father, James Sr., worked at Delco Products in Dayton, a maker of automobile components that has since evolved into Delphi Chassis.
  • Reston, whose father hoped he would become a golf pro, won the title of Ohio High School Golf Champion in 1927.
  • As a teenager, Reston worked at the Dayton Country Club as caddy for Governor James Cox, publisher of the Dayton Daily New. This connection would later launch his career in journalism.
  • After finishing college in 1932, Reston was hired by the Cox-owned Springfield Daily News in Springfield, Ohio. His assignment as sports writer was the first of many career moves he would make through influential contacts.
  • The Ohio State University was Reston’s employer from 1933 to34, where he was publicist for the sports department.
  • After leaving OSU, Reston spent a year working as press agent for the Cincinnati Reds.
  • In 1942 Reston received the Ohioana Award for his book, Prelude to Victory.

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