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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

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


17.0 linear feet

Biographical Information

Leon Hale was a widely read and longtime columnist for the Houston Chronicle. He made his home in Houston but spent much time at Winedale (near Round Top, TX) and Santa Fe, NM. Hale was known for recounting tales and reflections upon life and times in rural 20th Century Texas.

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 from 1983, columnist for the Houston Chronicle. In addition, he 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

Revision Statements

  • 2021-07-15: As a part of the 2021 Special Collections reparative description project, Brooks Whittaker revised this finding aid’s biographical note for relevance and brevity per current best practices.

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