Robert E. Golden Home Page

Robert E. Golden (1871-1941)

Collection description

Robert Emmet Golden attended St. Bonaventure from 1883-86, completing his studies at Belmont College in North Carolina.  He was an award winning journalist, as well as a songwriter.  Much of his career was as a member of the Richmond Times Dispatch news staff, though he spent part of his career in Texas and Ohio.

Golden was born December 13, 1871, the son of Michael and Ellen McGrath Golden.  He was born in Richmond, Virginia and was educated in the parochial schools there before entering St. Bonaventure.  He married Genevieve Kelly in 1899 and had four children, Helen G. Jenkins, Robert E. Golden, Jr., Thomas T. Golden and Francis X. Golden.

While he spent most of his life and career in Richmond, he also worked as telegraph editor for the Ohio State Journal in Columbus, edited a small town paper in East Liverpool, VA, and then moved on to Newport News as night editor of the Daily Press and, later, worked for the Times-Herald there.  He worked Richmond as the City Hall reporter for the Richmond News Leader.

He spent time in Texas as city editor of the Waco (TX) Morning News, then as a military reporter for a chain of Texas papers during the Carranza revolution in Mexico.  

He returned to Richmond to work for the Evening Journal, the Richmond Virginian and the Evening Dispatch before moving to Cincinnati to work as a drama critic on The Billboard, an entertainment periodical.  Golden also worked as an agent for a variety of groups including circuses, theatrical troupes and minstrels.  The stories he collected in the West and while working with the entertainment world provided many stories for this raconteur.  He returned to Richmond from Ohio and joined The Times Dispatch in 1932.  He covered the court scene and a variety of special assignments for that paper for the remainder of his journalistic career.

Golden was a writer in many genres besides reporting.  He was a poet and songwriter and wrote a musical comedy, Captain John Smith, while working in Newport News.  The show was for presentation at the Jamestown Exposition of 1907.  Songs which achieved popularity include "The Whole World's Turned Upside Down" and "Wine and Roses". (Songs, Verse)

Golden enjoyed travel and, particularly, track-walking following the railroads.  This activity made him a favorite of the itinerant travelers who made regular use of the railroads.  He wrote about these "hoboes" over the years and was recognized by the Hoboes of America in 1937 when he was made supreme knight and publicity director of that group. (Hoboes)

He particularly enjoyed storytelling and his "O.M.A.T" stories, as presumably related by the Oldest Man About Town, won him popularity and the Headliners Award in 1940.  The award was presented by the National Headliner's Club for outstanding achievement in newspapers, radio, newsreel and news photography.

Golden died September 12, 1941.

The Robert Emmet Golden Memorial Scholarship was established by Helen Jenkins, his daughter, in 1988 to benefit students of mass communications.  The scholarship was awarded annually based on academic achievement and financial need.

Dennis Frank

Robert E. Golden Home Page

For information about the 
Robert E. Golden Archives contact:

Dennis Frank
telephone: 716.375.2322

Friedsam Memorial Library
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778 USA
Telephone: 716.375.2323
Fax: 716.375.2389
Information Desk: 716.375.2164;

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Last updated: 02 March 2006