Walter Mears

Walter Mears is a Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist with the Associated Press. Mears was also one of the Boys on the Bus that covered the 1972 presidential election between Richard Nixon and George McGovern. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for his coverage of the 1976 presidential campaign.[1] He has been inducted in the Associated Press Hall-of-Fame.

Walter Mears
EmployerAssociated Press


Mears lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Mears joined the AP in 1955, one year prior to graduating college. He reported on national politics from 1960 - 2001 and was said to be "the most influential political writer of his time." Throughout his career in journalism, he has covered 11 presidential elections. His stories have appeared in almost every American newspaper. He retired in 2001.[2][3]


  1. ^ "Mears Awarded Pulitzer Prize". The Daily Item (Sumter). April 19, 1977. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  2. ^ "Walter R. Mears: Workman Publishing". Workman. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Lots of Facts, But Not Much More". American Journalism Review. Retrieved 6 September 2013.

External links

1976 United States presidential election

The 1976 United States presidential election was the 48th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 1976. Democrat Jimmy Carter of Georgia defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford from Michigan. Carter's win represented the lone Democratic victory in a presidential election held between 1968 and 1988.

President Richard Nixon had won the 1972 election with Spiro Agnew as his running mate, but in 1973 Agnew resigned and Ford was appointed as vice president via the 25th Amendment. When Nixon resigned in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Ford ascended to the presidency, becoming the only president to have never been elected to national office. He faced a strong challenge from conservative former governor Ronald Reagan of California in the 1976 Republican primaries, but Ford narrowly prevailed at the 1976 Republican National Convention. Carter was little-known at the start of the 1976 Democratic primaries, but the former governor of Georgia emerged as the front-runner after his victories in the first set of primaries. Campaigning as a political moderate and Washington outsider, Carter defeated opponents such as Jerry Brown and Mo Udall to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Ford pursued a "Rose Garden strategy" in which he sought to portray himself as an experienced leader focused on fulfilling his role as chief executive. Carter emphasized his status as a reformer who was "untainted" by Washington. Saddled with a poor economy, the fall of South Vietnam and his unpopular pardon of Nixon, Ford trailed by a wide margin in polls taken after Carter's formal nomination in July 1976. Ford's polling rebounded after a strong performance in the first presidential debate, and the race was close on election day.

Carter won a majority of the popular and electoral vote. He carried most states in the South and the Northeast while Ford dominated the Western states. Carter remains the only Democratic candidate since the 1964 presidential election to win a majority of the Southern states. Ford won 27 states, the most states ever carried by a losing candidate. Both of the major party vice presidential nominees, Walter Mondale in 1984 and Bob Dole in 1996, would later win their respective party's presidential nominations, but lose in the general election.

1977 Pulitzer Prize

The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1977.

List of Booknotes interviews first aired in 2004

Booknotes is an American television series on the C-SPAN network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with a non-fiction author. The series was broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time each Sunday night, and was the longest-running author interview program in U.S. broadcast history.

Martin Nolan

Martin F. Nolan is an American journalist. A longtime reporter and editor for The Boston Globe, Martin F. Nolan has covered American politics with a distinctive style that deployed allusions from Shakespeare to baseball.

His reporting was innovative. In 1971, he began a year-end tradition of recalling the year's notable obituaries, an “Auld Lang Syne” feature widely copied by other newspapers and magazines.[1]

In 1970, he was the first reporter to use “Joe SixPack” to describe a working-class American voter.[2]

Nolan wrote for the Globe from 1961 to 2001. While working as a White House correspondent, his name appeared on President Richard Nixon's “enemies list” in 1973. [3]

He was a general assignment reporter, manning the Globe desk at Boston police headquarters overnight on the “lobster shift.” After covering Boston City Hall and the Massachusetts State House, Nolan was assigned to Washington. In 1969, he was named Washington bureau chief and in 1981 became the Globe's editorial page editor.

Born in Boston on March 28, 1940, he was the fifth of five children born to Neil and Martina Nolan. After attending St. Patrick's Grammar School in Roxbury, and Boston College High School, he received a B.A. in history from Boston College. He later received fellowships at Duke, Harvard and Stanford Universities.

From 1963 to 1965, Nolan was a private in the U.S. Army. He taught what the military called “applied journalism” at the Army and Defense Information Schools.

While off-duty, he reported for the Globe on a free-lance basis, interviewing Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy, Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller.

The Globe assigned him to Washington in 1965, where he worked until 1981, covering Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court and other government agencies.

He was a member of the Globe investigative team awarded the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for “meritorious and disinterested public service.” The paper reported conflicting testimony from a Federal judgeship nominee supported by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. The nominee had served as an aide to the family patriarch, former Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy.

Nolan covered presidential campaigns from 1968 to 2004. He interviewed 12 U.S. Presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, before, during or after their presidencies. Overseas, he interviewed Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat and politicians in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

After he became the Globe's Washington bureau chief in 1969, he won approval from his peers, including John Chancellor and Walter Mears, co-authors of The News Business. On NBC, Chancellor called Nolan “one of the very best political reporters in Washington, as savvy and careful as they come.” [4] Mears, of the Associated Press, wrote that “Nolan was a talented, insightful reporter.” [5]

In Boys on the Bus, a 1973 book on campaign journalism, the author, Timothy Crouse, described him this way:

Nolan, a witty man in his middle 30s, had the unshaven, slack-jawed, nuts-to-you-too look of a bartender in a sailors’ cafe. He grew up in Dorchester, then a poor section of Boston, and asked his first tough political question at the age of 12. “Sister, how do you know Dean Acheson’s a Communist?,” he had challenged a reactionary nun in his parochial school, and the reprimand hadn't daunted him from asking wiseacre questions ever since.[6]

Nolan seldom described political leaders and their predicaments as solemnly as their staffs and campaign handlers did. In 1972, he told Globe readers about a “more precise” Massachusetts senator:

Interviewing Edward Kennedy used to be like watching an haute-cinemateque French movie. The dialogue was often reduced to soulful stares and meaningful grunts. [7]

He compared George Meany the AFL-CIO boss to Shakespeare's King Lear,

a cigar stub as his orb and a plumber's wrench as his sceptre....presiding over the final hours of labor's dominance in Democratic Party politics. [8]

Reporting from Portland, OR after a volcano eruption, he wrote:

Church services were canceled Sunday in reluctant homage to Mount St, Helens.

As citizens of these ecology-minded states swept volcanic ash off homes and cars, many of their shrines of scenery were shrouded in Biblical gray.

If clergymen needed an Old Testament text, they could have chosen Genesis 18:27 in which Abraham argues with the Lord to spare cities, noting that he is still ‘but dust and ashes.’” [9]

In 1973, Nolan was elected to Washington’s Gridiron Club, devoted to an elite annual white-tie dinner “roasting” politicians. In February 1974, the club voted to continue its policy of refusing membership to women reporters. Nolan resigned, the first Gridiron member to quit since the 19th century. [10]

He called the vote “an active policy of discrimination,” as well as “unprofessional, unfair and ungentlemanly.” Protests from female reporters and their political supporters helped change the policy. In November 1974, the Gridiron Club, founded in 1885, voted to admit women for the first time.

In Washington, Nolan continued to follow Massachusetts politics. In 1975, Globe editor Thomas Winship assigned him to help cover Boston's mayoral election. Nolan also reported on the 1978 Bay State elections.

In 1981, Globe publisher William O. Taylor named him editorial page editor. He continued to report on politics and won several awards. In 1985, he was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary. In 1991, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing.

The fate of the Boston Red Sox has been one of Nolan's passions and preoccupations for decades. He has been a season ticket holder at Fenway Park since 1982.

In 1986, he helped the Globe recruit writers for a special edition for the World Series: Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Stephen King, John Updike and George Will. The articles were collected in the 1991 book, The Red Sox Reader. Its first sentences come is from Nolan's essay on Fenway Park, often cited in exhibitions of baseball art:

The ballpark is the star.

In the age of Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth, the era of Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams, through the empty-seats epoch of Don Buddin and Willie Tasby and unto the decades of Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice, the ballpark is the star.

A crazy-quilt violation of city planning principles, an irregular pile of architecture, a menace to marketing consultants, Fenway Park works. It works as a symbol of New England's pride, as a repository of evergreen hopes, as a tabernacle of lost innocence. It works as a place to watch baseball. [11]

The words adorned a book and art display shown in U. S. museums. [12] After new ownership came to Fenway in 2000, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino ordered the first sentences printed on the wall of the team's conference room.

In 2003, in his book on the Red Sox, The Teammates, David Halberstam quoted Nolan on life as a Red Sox fan: "The Red Sox killed my father, and now they're coming after me." [13] In 2012, the team commissioned Nolan to write a centenary essay marking Fenway Park's 100th birthday. “The Fenway Century,” printed in the ballpark's official tour book, concludes that

For ten dynamic decades, a prosaic pile of bricks assembled in a reclaimed swamp has housed the passionate poetry of hope. The park defines the intensity of history and tradition in Boston, an old city on the edge of the continent. [14]

In 1991, after 10 years of editing the Globe's editorial page Nolan returned to reporting on city, state and national politics. Boston Magazine profiled

a reporter whose curiosity, skill and spirit combine to catch the essence of the town....It is hard to be iconoclastic in an age without idols, but Marty Nolan comes close.[15]

After a fellowship at Stanford's Hoover Institution, Nolan returned to California in 1995 to become the Globe's West Coast correspondent, writing news stories and columns until 2001, when he retired. He wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the Los Angeles Times and the California Journal.

He became a board member of the Gold Rush Trail Foundation in San Francisco, which aims to replicate Boston's Freedom Trail. The foundation sponsors tours of historic downtown sites in San Francisco for Bay Area schoolchildren.[16]

He has contributed chapters to five books and written in The Atlantic, National Review, New Republic, New York, The New York Observer, The Reporter, Village Voice, Washingtonian and Washington Monthly. His writings have also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Washington Star.

Nolan has three children: David, Ellen and Peter; and two stepchildren, Sarah and Rose Weld.

His marriage to Margaret Carroll ended in divorce in 1974.

In 1984, he married Elizabeth New Weld. They have six grandchildren and live in San Francisco.


[1] Nolan, Martin F., (December 31, 1971) “To the real majority” . Boston Globe.

[2] Nolan, Martin F. (August 20, 1970) Boston Globe; Safire, William, May 4, 1998, “On Language: The Return of Joe SixPack” The New York Times Magazine.


[4] Chancellor, John, (June 17, 1972) NBC Radio commentary.

[5] Mears, Walter R., Deadlines Past, Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2003, p. 114.

[6] Crouse, Timothy, The Boys on the Bus, New York: Random House, 1973., p. 17.

[7] Nolan, Martin F., (July 20, 1972) “News Analysis: Meany plays King Lear -- ‘love’s labor lost.’” Boston Globe, p. 1.

[8] Nolan, Martin F., (June 18, 1972) “Kennedy’s VP drama,” Boston Globe.

[9] Nolan, Martin F. (May 27, 1980) “Life after the ashes,”

Boston Globe, p. 3.

[10] Associated Press, (February 9, 1974) “Quits Gridiron in Protest,” The New York Times.

[11] The Red Sox Reader, edited by Dan Riley, Boston: Mariner Books Houghton Mifflin, 1991,p. 3

[12[ Diamonds Are Forever, San Francisco: Chronicle Books 1987, p. 18

[13] Halberstam, David, The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friends, New York: Hyperion Books, 2003., p. 45

[14] Boston Red Sox Baseball Club, Fenway Park: It Never Gets Old, Boston, 2012.

[15] Howard, Margo, “Lunch on the Left Bank: Marty Nolan,” Boston Magazine, October 1993, p. 164



Mears or Meares is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ainslie Dixon Meares (1910-1986) Australian psychiatrist, and authority on medical hypnotism

Anna Meares (born 1983), Australian cyclist

Ashley Mears (born 1980), American sociologist

Brian Mears (born 1932), British author and former chairman of Chelsea Football Club

Cecil Meares (1877-1937), chief dog handler on the Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica

Chris Mears (born 1978), Canadian baseball player

Chris Mears (diver) (born 1993) British diver, Olympic champion

Daniel Mears (born 1966), American criminologist

Edward Mears (born 1953), Musician, Vocalist, Jingle, Recording, Songwriter, Session Musician (Silk Satin Jackets, Lean Too Productions)

Ernie Mears, a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders

Frank Charles Mears (1880-1953), Scottish planning practitioner

Frank Meares (1873–1952), Australian cricketer (also Frank Devenish-Meares)

Frederick Mears (1878-1939), American civil engineer

Gus Mears (1873-1912), (a.k.a. Henry Augustus Mears), businessman and founder of Chelsea Football Club

Helen Farnsworth Mears (1872-1916), American artist

Jen Mears (1984), actress, writer, producer

John Meares (1756–1809), English navigator

Lee Mears (born 1979), English rugby union player

Leonard Frank Meares (1921-1993), Australian author

Joe Mears (1905-1966), former chairman of The Football Association and Chelsea Football Club

Joseph Mears (1871-1936), (a.k.a. Joseph Theophilus Mears), co-founder of Chelsea Football Club

People called Ray Mears

Martha Mears (1910) Singer, Voice Over Singer, Dubber

Michele Lee Mears (1966) American Apparel Designer, American Songwriter

Richard Goldsmith Meares (1780-1862), Anglo-Irish public official at the Swan River Colony

Robbie Mears, Australian rugby league footballer

Thomas Mears (1775-1832), Canadian businessman and politician

Tracey Meares, American law professor

Tyrone Mears (born 1983), Jamaican footballer with Burnley

Warren Mears, fictional character from the U.S. television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting

This Pulitzer Prize has been awarded since 1942 for a distinguished example of reporting on national affairs in the United States. In its first six years (1942–1947), it was called the Pulitzer Prize for Telegraphic Reporting – National.

Robert H. Michel

Robert Henry Michel (pronounced "Michael"; March 2, 1923 – February 17, 2017) was an American Republican Party politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives for 38 years. He represented central Illinois' 18th congressional district, and was the GOP leader in Congress, serving as Minority Leader for the last 14 years (1981–1995) of a decades-long era of Democratic Party dominance of the House.

Michel also served as Minority Whip for six years (1975–1981). A graduate of Bradley University in Illinois, he was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois.

The Boys on the Bus

The Boys on the Bus (1973) is author Timothy Crouse's seminal non-fiction book detailing life on the road for reporters covering the 1972 United States presidential campaign.The book was one of the first treatises on pack journalism ever to be published, following in the footsteps of Gay Talese's 1969 "fly on the wall" look into the New York Times called The Kingdom and the Power.

The Boys on the Bus evolved out of several articles Crouse had written for Rolling Stone. When released, the book became a best-seller and is still in print today, often being used as a standard text in many university journalism courses.

Several very recognizable reporters, whose bylines could be seen into the 21st century, are at turns critiqued, lampooned and glorified within the book, including R.W. "Johnny" Apple, Robert Novak, Walter Mears, Haynes Johnson, David Broder, Hunter S. Thompson, Thomas Oliphant, Curtis Wilkie, and Jules Witcover, not to mention the politicians they were covering: Richard M. Nixon and George McGovern. Later editions of the book contain a foreword by Thompson.

United States presidential debates

During presidential elections in the United States, it has become customary for the main candidates (almost always the candidates of the two largest parties, currently the Democratic Party and the Republican Party) to engage in a debate. The topics discussed in the debate are often the most controversial issues of the time, and arguably elections have been nearly decided by these debates (e.g., Nixon vs. Kennedy). Candidate debates are not constitutionally mandated, but it is now considered a de facto election process. The debates are targeted mainly at undecided voters; those who tend not to be partial to any political ideology or party.Presidential debates are held late in the election cycle, after the political parties have nominated their candidates. The candidates meet in a large hall, often at a university, before an audience of citizens. The formats of the debates have varied, with questions sometimes posed from one or more journalist moderators and in other cases members of the audience. Between 1988 and 2000, the formats have been governed in detail by secret memoranda of understanding (MOU) between the two major candidates; an MOU for 2004 was also negotiated, but unlike the earlier agreements it was jointly released by the two candidates.

Debates have been broadcast live on television, radio, and in recent years, the web. The first debate for the 1960 election drew over 66 million viewers out of a population of 179 million, making it one of the most-watched broadcasts in U.S. television history. The 1980 debates drew 80 million viewers out of a population of 226 million. Recent debates have drawn decidedly smaller audiences, ranging from 46 million for the first 2000 debate to a high of over 67 million for the first debate in 2012. A record-breaking audience of over 84 million people watched the first 2016 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a number that does not reflect online streaming.

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