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Leon Hale Papers

Identifier: 2001-004
This set of papers documents Leon Hale's long and prolific writing career that began in 1946. It is divided into ten major categories with the bulk of the material being comprised of Mr. Hale's book projects, daily columns, letters from readers, and miscellaneous articles. The materials are housed in sixteen boxes, including fourteen record cartons and two oversized boxes. Each of the categories is prefaced by a detailed description.


  • 1923-2002

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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17.0 Linear Feet

Biographical Information

Leon Hale is a widely read and longtime columnist for the Houston Chronicle. He makes his home in Houston but spends much time at Winedale (near Round Top, TX) and Santa Fe, NM. Hale is a master at recounting tales of and reflections upon life and times in rural 20th Century Texas. He conveys all his subject's charm in the colloquial language, salty wit, and country humor that he uses so well. He is the father of Mark and Rebecca and the husband of Babette Fraser Hale.

Born May 30, 1921, at Stephenville, Texas, Leon Hale was reared in 22 different houses in nine different West Texas towns, from Fort Worth to Lubbock. His father was a store clerk and traveling salesman, but most of his relatives were farmers and his early background is entirely rural. Hale graduated from Eastland, Texas High School in 1939, entered Texas Tech at Lubbock and served 3 years in the U.S Army Air Forces before returning to "Tech" to take a journalism degree in 1946.

Hale began his journalism career as assistant editor for the Texas A&M University Extension Service, 1946-47, and progressed as follows: farm and ranch editor for the Houston Post, 1948-52; magazine editor for Humble Oil & Refining Co., 1953-55; "roving Texas columnist" for the Houston Post, 1956-1983; and since 1983, columnist for the Houston Chronicle. In addition, he has served as part-time instructor at Sam Houston State University, contributed to Texas Parade magazine, written free-lance articles, authored ten books and contributed to many others. Mr. Hale's awards include recognition by the Headliners Foundation of Texas and AP and UPI wire services. He also received the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters for one of his two novels.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Leon Hale in 2001. 1 addtiional box and a few rolled laminated calendars, arrived January 2015.

Processing Information

Dick Dickerson, 2002
Guide to the Leon Hale Papers
Dick Dickerson
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA