BOLTON, BIRD PAUL (1903 ~ 1986). The following is an obituary for journalist and Texas Board of Education Member Paul Bolton. The obituary was published in the Austin American Statesman.
Bird Paul Bolton
Bird Paul Bolton, 82, retired KTBC news director died Sunday in a local hospital. Bolton was with KTBC for 20 years, starting as radio news editor in 1944, and becoming news director of both the radio and the newly-created television station in 1952. He retired in 1965. Bolton was also active in community affairs.
After serving a term on the Austin Independent School Board of Trustees, he was elected to the Texas State Board of Education in 1951. He founded the Headliners' Club with Charles E. Green and Everett Looney in 1954. Bolton was born May 24, 1903, in Pawnee, Oklahoma Territory. He was the only child of George Christopher and Mattle May Hedges Bolton. Bolton grew up in Fairfax, Oklahoma, and was the editor of his high school newspaper and yearbook. Bolton attended the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Delta Chi. He graduated in Journalism from the University of Missouri and was hired by the Associated Press.
After working in Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota, Bolton was transferred to Dallas, then Austin, where he became bureau chief. In 1930, Bolton became the first press agent In state government, working for Agriculture Commissioner J.E. McDonald. In 1932, Bolton hired on with International News Service. During the early 30's, Bolton was active in independent Journalism, founding the Texas State House Reporter with Vann Kennedy and Ronald Byram. He was also the chief writer for a popular column in The State Observer called 'The Mirrors of Austin.' During the mid 30's, Bolton and Kennedy prepared all the publicity to launch James Allred's successful gubernatorial race.
Later, Bolton was named newspaper representative on the state Civil Judicial Council. On the side, he helped edit legislative statutes and wrote speeches for such notables as longtime Railroad Commission chairman, Ernest Thompson. In the mid 40's, Bolton headed the International News Service office and the State Observer. In 1944, Lyndon Johnson persuaded Bolton to join KTBC radio (now KLBJ) as news editor. The next year, Bolton covered the United Nations organizational meeting in San Francisco for KTBC, Harte-Hanks newspapers and the Dallas Times Herald.
In 1948, Bolton took a leave of absence from KTBC wrote speeches for Johnson's senate race; and In 1961, Bolton was one of the reporters who accompanied Johnson on his vice-presidential around-the-world tour. After retiring in 1965, Bolton did a series of oral history interviews for the LBJ Library and traveled extensively.
Bolton is survived by his wife, Dorothy Lee (Dolly) Brown Bolton; daughter, Beverly Jane Bolton Sonntag; and son, Christopher Lee Bolton. Grandchildren are James Bernard Sonntag of Garland and George Christopher -Sonntag, Christopher Nicholas Paul Bolton, William Nelson Lee Bolton and Alexandra Dorothy Eileen Bolton, all of Austin. Great-grandchildren are Aaron Lee Sonntag and Barrett Bolton Sonntag both of Garland.
Funeral services will be held at 11.00 AM, Wednesday In the Colonial Chapel of the Cook-Walden Funeral Home with Pastor Karl Gronberg officiating. Eulogy will be by Cactus Pryor. Interment will be in the Texas State Cemetery. Pallbearers are Joe Roddy, Hal Nelson, Ron Rogers, David N. Smith, Dan Love, Jay Hodgson, Charles Howell, Elmo Brown and Phil Miller. Honorary pallbearers are Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Ambassador Edward A. Dark, Donald Thomas, Senator Ralph Yarborough, Congressman Jake Pickle, Bill Moyers, Dr. Horace Cromer, Oscar Price Bobbin, J.W. Edgar and Walter Cronkite.
The family requests the omission of flowers and that memorials be made to the charity of one's choice. The Paul Bolton Scholarship Fund has been established by the family with the Headliners Foundation, 2100 MBank Towers, Austin, Texas 78701. The family will be receiving friends Wednesday at 10:30 AM prior to the service. Arrangements by Cook-Walden Funeral Home, Lamar location.