In this issue Steve Hannagan’s meets the Big Four journalists of the popular media. Early on while at Russel Seeds, Steve was assigned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to work with Pop Myers, General Manager of the Speedway. At the Speedway, Steve met four major figures in the popular press: Roy Howard, President and General Manager of United Press Association; Odd O. McIntyre, widely known Broadway columnist; Ray Long, Editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine; andJames Quirk, Editor of the Hollywood celebrity watching publication, Photoplay Magazine. They, like Carl Fisher, opened new doors for Steve.
O .O. McIntyrei wrote a nationally-syndicated column with fifteen million readers. His weekly columns profiled political, entertainment, and social elite of New York City and Hollywood. Like Steve Hannagan, he lived on Park Avenue, and like Steve he died when he was fifty-three. Upon his death, he was taken home and interred on a high bluff overlooking the Ohio River.
Ray Longii published Cosmopolitan Magazine, which was a magazine of novellas, short stories, serials, and special features. Like Howard and Hannagan, Long was a Hoosier from Lebanon, Indiana, just up the road from Indianapolis. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1934 after he left Cosmopolitan and opened a publishing house that failed during the depression.
James Quirkiii was editor of Photoplay Magazine that covered film stars and movies from Hollywood and New York, the early home of major movies. The magazine was sought after by the public for its colorful artwork of movie and Broadway stars. Like Steve, Quirk lineage ran through Ireland, and Steve always enjoyed the company and friendship of someone from an Irish family.
Roy Howardiv was from Indianapolis who started at the Indianapolis Star. From there he moved to Scripps-Howard and up the ladder to President of United Press. He was a pioneer in building an association of international reporters who regularly filed stories from throughout the United States and from foreign capitals. Steve Hannagan briefly worked for United Press
The Howard, McIntyre, Long, and Quirk Club
In their day, Howard, Long, Quirk, and McIntyre cut a wide swath across the news and entertainment capitals of America. Howard, McIntyre, Long, and Quirk were fashionable, sophisticated boulevardiers who enjoyed bespoke clothes, food, wine, and conversation. They only let someone into their circle if that person shared their pleasures and was a witty conversationalist. Steve easily qualified for their rarely extended membership. These four editors were precisely whom Steve wanted to emulate. He did not want to be seen as a Hoosier hayseed or a Mick from the back alleys of an Irish ghetto. Three of these luminaries from the print media would provide Steve with entrée into Hollywood and with new opportunities. As Steve wrote, “Roy Howard gave me a job and good advice; McIntyre showed me Broadway; and Jimmy Quirk was my guide to Hollywood.”v The first time that he turned to one of the four took place when he had to reach the Hollywood Star, Wallace Reid, for the Stutz Bearcat promotion.
Steve Receives National Recognition
Steve reputation began to spread beyond the confines of Indiana newspapers after Damon Runyon wrote a amusing piece in his nationally syndicated column about Steve becoming the voice of the Indianapolis 500 (Photo is of Runyonvi). Below is a quote from the piece.
“Out in Indianapolis the citizens find themselves in ferment this early in the semester without knowing why. They are vaguely conscious of a simmering and a bubbling going on among them, but no Indianapolitian, if that’s what he is, could place his finger on the exact cause. Yet I, a stranger [from New York,] detect it at once. It is due to the sudden injection into their midst of an ingredient known as the Stephanus Hannaganus, or more commonly, Steve Hannagan.”vii
Runyon’s brief comment is every neophyte publicist’s dream – recognition by a writer of considerable esteem who is read nationally. Essentially, Steve Hannagan’s career was launched when Russell Seed sent him to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.