1977-78 Bob Hamilton Iowa Park Leader



Bob Hamilton, 100th president, was co-publisher of the Iowa Park Leader with his wife, Dolores. Hamilton, 77, died June 7, 2008, in his home in Iowa Park.

He was born Feb. 12, 1931, in Grandfield, Oklahoma, to Bill and Thelma Hamilton. He and Dolores Slemp were married June 30, 1956, in Amarillo.

Hamilton grew up in Hereford where he had his first experience in the newspaper business during World War II selling copies of the Hereford Brand when they came off the press. He was hired by the Brand in 1948 as a janitor before school and a printer's devil in the afternoons.

His first writing experience was the same year, when he began covering sports; and soon afterward, he was recruited to string for the Amarillo News and Globe Times.

Hamilton dropped out of school in January 1950 to join the U.S. Air Force and after serving four years, he graduated Amarillo Junior College in 1956, majoring in journalism.

His first full-time newspaper job was at Moore County News upon his graduation. In 1958 he accepted a job offer with the Brand. Six months later he was hired at the Olton Enterprise, and half a year later he went to work at the Portales (N.M.) Tribune.

In the late spring of 1959, Hamilton became the publisher of The Plains Farmer and about a year later, he agreed to purchase his partners’ share. Shortly afterward, they added to their workload with the Kress News.

A combination of crop failures and other factors forced the Hamiltons to cease publication of the Farmer and Hamilton joined the Lamb County Leader in Littlefield. Dolores Hamilton assumed the publisher responsibilities of the Kress publication for about a year.

In midsummer 1969, the Hamiltons accepted an offer to start and own a newspaper in Iowa Park, and the Iowa Park Leader initial publication became a reality on Sept. 17, 1969. About five years later, the Hamiltons purchased full ownership of the newspaper.

During the following years, Hamilton served as president of TPA, West Texas Press Association, and the North and East Texas Press Association, as well as a member of the Texas Newspaper Foundation board.

He was an Iowa Park city councilman from 1991-99. He was a member and past president of the Iowa Park Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Iowa Park Muleskinners.

Special recognitions received by Hamilton include: Special Recognition Award twice from the Texas Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association; Sam C. Holloway Memorial Award and Tom Mooney Award from NETPA; Outstanding Citizen of the Year from the Iowa Park Chamber of Commerce in 1990; and TPA's Golden 50 Award in 1998.

The Hamiltons have five children, and Kevin and Kari both currently work at the Leader. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dolores, who serves as publisher of the Leader.