Landrum, Lynn Wiley (1891–1961)

By: Graham Landrum

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 19, 2020

Lynn Wiley Landrum, journalist, was born in Whitewright, Texas, on August 24, 1891, the son of Sam Houston and Mary Cutler (Dickey) Landrum. He attended schools in Lebanon, Tennessee, Whitewright, Texas, and Olustee and Altus, Oklahoma, before entering the preparatory division of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. After two years at Miami he attended the University of Texas, where he received a law degree in 1917. He became managing editor of the Daily Texan on October 2, 1913. Among contributors to the newspaper under his editorship were Beauford Jester, Ernest O. Thompson, Fred R. Cotten, F. Maury Maverick, Stuart M. McGregor, and Paul Brown.

Landrum volunteered for service in World War I and attended the First Officers Training Camp at Leon Springs (see LEON SPRINGS MILITARY RESERVATION). His subsequent service consisted of training troops at Fort Sam Houston. After he was discharged in 1919, he held four journalistic positions in quick succession: editor of the Alcalde (alumni magazine of the University of Texas), editor of the Bryan Daily Eagle, staff member of the Vernon Record, and editor of the Quanah Observer. In 1921 Landrum joined the staff of the Dallas Morning News.

His first significant assignment from the News was an extended series of editorials attacking the Ku Klux Klan. He continued on the editorial page until 1933, when he was made editor of the Dallas Evening Journal, sister publication of the News. His reorganization and imaginative conduct of the editorial page brought him to public notice. When the Journal was sold in 1938 to the Hoblitzelle interests (see HOBLITZELLE, KARL S. J.), Landrum returned to the News, where he wrote a front-page column calling "Thinking Out Loud." From this time until his death he was a center of controversy because of his forcefully expressed opinions.

He reentered the army during World War II and served in the military government in W├╝rzburg, Germany, where he was responsible for the preservation of the famed Tiepolo ceiling of the bishop's residence. He was discharged as a lieutenant colonel in December 1945.

Landrum has been credited with doing much to break the hold of the one-party system in Texas. He was also an outspoken foe of statism in all forms and was noted for his criticism of Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and W. Lee O'Daniel. He wrote many columns about his home, which he called the Goat House on Billy Goat Hill, and the Little Lady with the Green Thumb who lived there. He is also remembered as the inventor and "leading Elder" of the "Episcobapterian Church, South of God, Unigational Synod." Landrum was married to Anna Belle May on August 29, 1919, and they had one son. He was a member of the Methodist Church and the Bone Head Club. He died in Dallas on August 31, 1961.

Dallas Morning News, September 1, 1961.

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Graham Landrum, “Landrum, Lynn Wiley,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 19, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: