Penn Jones, Jr.

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Penn Jones, Jr.
BornWilliam Penn Jones, Jr.
(1914-10-14)October 14, 1914
Lane's Chapel, Texas, U.S.
DiedJanuary 25, 1998(1998-01-25) (aged 83)
Alvarado, Texas, U.S.
Cause of death
Alzheimer's disease
NationalityAmerican
EducationClarksville High School
Alma materMagnolia Junior College
University of Texas at Austin
OccupationJournalist, newspaper editor, author
Spouse(s)Louise Angove (m. 1941; div. 1983)
Elaine Kavanaugh (m. 1983–98) (his death)
Children2
 
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Penn Jones, Jr.
BornWilliam Penn Jones, Jr.
(1914-10-14)October 14, 1914
Lane's Chapel, Texas, U.S.
DiedJanuary 25, 1998(1998-01-25) (aged 83)
Alvarado, Texas, U.S.
Cause of death
Alzheimer's disease
NationalityAmerican
EducationClarksville High School
Alma materMagnolia Junior College
University of Texas at Austin
OccupationJournalist, newspaper editor, author
Spouse(s)Louise Angove (m. 1941; div. 1983)
Elaine Kavanaugh (m. 1983–98) (his death)
Children2

William Penn Jones, Jr. (October 14, 1914 – January 25, 1998) was an American journalist, the editor of the Midlothian Mirror and author. He was also one of the earliest John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Jones was born in Lane's Chapel, Texas.[2] He was one of eight children born to William Penn Jones, a sharecropper, and his wife Gussie Earline Jones (née Browning).[2][3] Three of his siblings died in infancy. The family later bought a farm in Annona, Texas. After graduating from Clarksville High School in 1932, Jones attended Magnolia A&M Junior College for less than two years.[2][3]

In 1935, he transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. It was there that Jones met an economic professor who he later credited with for influencing him to become a liberal. While at UT, Jones took law classes with classmates Henry Wade and John Connally. Wade later become the District Attorney in Dallas while Connolly would later become the 39th Governor of Texas. Both men were figures in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 1940, Jones dropped out of college later admitting that the coursework was too difficult.[4]

Military service and career[edit]

In 1933, Jones joined the Texas National Guard. In October 1940, he was called to active duty to fight in World War II.[4] He served in 36th Infantry Division in the European theater of World War II.[2] He retired from the Guard in 1963 upon which Texas governor John Connally promoted him to the rank of Brevet Brigadier General.[5]

In 1946, Jones purchased the Midlothian Mirror for $4,000; he eventually sold the newspaper in 1974.[1] In 1963, Penn received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism.[1][6] Hugh Aynesworth was among those who nominated Jones for the award.[1]

Jones was known for being an early critic of the Warren Commission's report on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and for alleging that 150 people connected to the assassination may have died under mysterious circumstances. In 1967, he self-published Forgive My Grief, a four-volume work on the assassination of President Kennedy.[1][6] In the 1980s, Jones co-edited The Continuing Inquiry newsletter with Gary Mack of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Jones was married twice and had two children. He married first wife Louise Angove in July 1941. They had two son: Penn Jones III (born in 1944) and Michael (born in 1948). They divorced in 1983. That same year, Jones married Elaine Kavanaugh. They remained married until Jones' death.[2]

Death[edit]

On January 25, 1998, Jones died of Alzheimer's disease in a Alvarado, Texas nursing home at the age of 83.[1] His funeral was held at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waxahachie, Texas.[2]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Shlachter, Barry (January 28, 1998). "Penn Jones, JFK theorist, editor". Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas). p. 11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Michael (May 2013). "About Penn Jones". baylor.edu. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Kelin, John (2007). Praise from a Future Generation: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report. Wings Press. p. 103. ISBN 0-916-72732-7. 
  4. ^ a b Kelin 2007 p.104
  5. ^ "Midlothian Paper Editor Given Award". Corsicana Daily Sun. July 16, 1963. p. 13. 
  6. ^ a b "Articles Take Up JFK 'Conspiracy'". The Tuscaloosa News (Tuscaloosa-Northport, Alabama). November 7, 1966. p. 13. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]