Jud Dixon Obit

JUD DIXON OBIT (United Press International)

Jud Dixon, Longtime UPI Employee, Dies

DALLAS, Dec. 27, 2006 (UPI) -- Jud Dixon, whose 41-year career with United Press International included coverage of the death of President John Kennedy, has died in Dallas. He was 85.

Dixon died at his home after a battle with cancer.

Dixon was a longtime reporter and manager for UPI, including directing UPI's Southwest broadcast report for nine states. After his retirement from UPI, he worked with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and was editor of the foundation's newsletter for 18 years.

Dixon retired from UPI as operations manager for the Southwest Division in 1985, ending a 41-year career that began in 1944 with the wire service at Denver. He started his news career in 1938 soon after high school graduation and college attendance in Joplin, Mo. He worked for the Joplin Globe, and later for the Springfield (Mo.) Daily News.

When he joined then United Press, he moved from Denver to Cheyenne, Wyo., as state manager, and then to Santa Fe, N.M. He later was assigned to the news service's Fort Worth, Texas, bureau, was appointed Texas broadcast editor in Dallas and subsequently promoted to broadcast editor for the nine-state Southwest Division.

Dixon was on the broadcast desk at the time of Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963, and transmitted on the regional UPI broadcast wire the first flash about the shooting.

Dixon's daughter, Dorann, was born on a May 1953 night a tornado struck Waco, killing more than 100 people. Dixon was working for UP in the Fort Worth bureau at the time and received a call at home from the Dallas UP bureau ordering him to Waco, some 120 miles to the south.

In retelling the events, Dixon noted his automatic response was, yes, he'd head immediately for Waco. But his wife, Virginia, reminded him the baby was due that night. When he advised the Dallas office, editors there decided to assign someone else to the Waco storm and allow Dixon to remain at home for the birth of his daughter.

In addition to his wife, Virginia, and daughter Dorann Elizabeth Dixon Blanke, Dixon is survived by a son, David J. Dixon, and four grandchildren.

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