McGinnis, John Hathaway (1883–1960)

By: Thomas F. Gossett

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

John Hathaway McGinnis, teacher and cultural editor, was born in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, on December 21, 1883, to Albert and Mary (Hathaway) McGinnis. His father was a professor of classics at various colleges. McGinnis received a B.A. degree in 1904 and a Litt.D. in 1929 from Missouri Valley College, and an M.A. from Columbia University in 1915. He was married in 1916 to Grace Gillett. They had four children. From 1907 till 1914 he was assistant professor of English at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He was associate professor of English at Southern Methodist University in 1915–16 and professor from 1916 until 1946. He was editor of the Southwest Review from 1924 to 1928 and editor with various colleagues from 1928 to 1942. He was senior editor of the University Press in Dallas (later the SMU Press) from 1937 to 1942 and literary editor of the Sunday book page of the Dallas Morning News from 1916 to 1919 and from 1923 to 1948. McGinnis wrote articles and a few short stories for the Southwest Review and book reviews for the News. He made a great effort to keep his readers informed of current literary developments both in America and abroad. He saw the Southwest as developing economically but feeble intellectually. His great theme was that writers ought to arise in the region, people who could interpret the land and the people, taking into account the geographical, economic, and cultural factors that made the area different from other parts of the United States. He taught a course in the literature of the Southwest and was a friend and admirer of J. Frank Dobie. McGinnis died in Dallas on April 8, 1960.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Education
  • Educators
  • English and Journalism
  • Journalism
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
  • Journals and Publications
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Dramatists and Novelists
  • Fiction
  • Scholars, Editors, and Critics
  • 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.

Thomas F. Gossett, “McGinnis, John Hathaway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995

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