Thomas Steely, 96th president, was born in Paris. He died in November 1992.
He held an associate’s degree from Paris Junior College, a bachelor’s degree from East Texas State Teacher’s College and a master’s of education from the University of Texas.
Steely was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943, and discharged as a lieutenant in 1946. An executive officer on a subchaser, he was in the Mediterranean theatre of war.
Steely’s newspaper career began at Paris Junior College as advertising manager of The Bat. His first job was advertising manager of the Commerce Journal.
From 1948-49, he was on the advertising staff of the Daily News-Telegram and Hopkins County Echo in Sulphur Springs. He returned to Paris in 1949, opening a printing plant that he operated until 1954 when he purchased the Lamar County Echo.
He was president of North and East Texas Press Association (1968-69) and served on the Joint House-Senate Committee on Higher Education under Gov. Mark White.
He sold his newspaper to Harte-Hanks Group in 1979.