Raborn, George Washington, Jr. (1923–1974)

By: Dorman H. Winfrey

Type: Biography

Published: June 1, 1995

George Washington Raborn, sportswriter and movie critic, son of George and Ann (Campbell) Raborn, was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on July 19, 1923. After graduating from Orange High School, he attended the University of Texas, where he was Southwest Conference shot-put champion in 1946, AAU shot-put record holder for six years, and sports editor for the Daily Texan. He received a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1947. Raborn's early sports-writing career included writing for the Orange Leader, the San Antonio Express (correspondent for UPI and AP), the Waco Tribune-Herald (columnist), and newspapers in Beaumont and Temple. He moved to Los Angeles, California, in the late 1950s and in 1959 joined the Glendale News-Press as a sportswriter and film reviewer. He resigned in 1968 to free-lance. Raborn gained national recognition as a movie critic and was described in a 1955 Look article as "probably the most devoted movie fan in history." He saw more than 10,000 movies in his life and critiqued and analyzed most of them with his own detailed rating system. His 1955 book How Hollywood Rates (later revised and updated) presented his own awards for best and worst pictures and "batting averages" of stars. Raborn delighted his friends and audiences as a raconteur. He was a president of the Southern California Track Writers Association and a founder of the Max Steiner Music Society at Los Angeles. He was the only Texas sportswriter to cover the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, in 1952 and thereafter attended every Olympics, except Rome in 1960, until his death at Austin on June 24, 1974. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.

Austin American-Statesman, June 26, 1974. Daily Texan, March 22, 1955. Look Magazine, August 9, 1955. Waco Tribune Herald, June 30, 1974.
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Media

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

Dorman H. Winfrey, “Raborn, George Washington, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/raborn-george-washington-jr.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995