War Correspondent and Winner of the Croix de Guerre and Legion of Honor during World War I, FLOYD GIBBONS (1887-1939) was a restless, unorthodox roving reporter known for his colorful style and trademark eye patch, worn because of a WWI injury. Gibbons brought high excitement, courage and ingenuity into his reporting and earned well his reputation as the top war correspondent of his generation. His first assignment was covering the Mexican Revolution in 1914. He was present at the Battle of Naco on the Sonora-Arizona border and traveled with Poncho Villa’s forces for two years. In 1917, he was a passenger on the SS Lanconia when the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Irish coast, taking many lives. Rescued after a night in the Irish Sea, he cabled a 4,000-word account of the disaster to the Chicago Tribune, scooping every paper in the country.
In France during WWI, Gibbons was wounded by machine gun fire while covering the assault during the Battle of Belleau Wood and lost the sign in one eye. He lived to tell about it and to cover many more stories.
On June 21, 1941, Marine Corps League State Commandant Roland L. Young posthumously awarded Gibbons a Gold Medal, making him an honorary member of the Marine Corps. It was the first such civilian honor ever made in the history of the Marine Corps League. Gibbons also covered the Spanish Civil War and interviewed Benito Mussolini during WW II. In the 1920s and 1930s, Gibbons was widely known as a radio commentator on his own show “The Headline Hunter,” and a narrator of newsreels for which he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
One page, 6 ½” x 8”, TLS on his personal stationary – Gibbons’ usual tan, deckle-edge paper – to Arthur P. Proulx of Southbridge, MA, on April 1, 1930. “Thank you for your letter of March fifteenth. “It was mighty good of you to write that you have enjoyed the ‘Headline Hunter’ yarns and I want you to know that your kind expression of opinion is greatly appreciated. “As requested, the card enclosed with your letter will be autographed. “Sincerely yours, “Floyd Gibbons” Comes with an advertising card for Gibbons book “The Red Napoleon.”
One fold to the letter. Paper clip mark to the advertising card and indentation to the top of the letter. Small fold tear reinforced with archival tape. Else very good. A wonderful lot of two from a very talented war correspondent.
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