E. Ross Bartley · 1971
By R.S. Pritchard
E. Ross Bartley was born in 1892 in Brookston, Ind., where he spent a majority of his early years. He got into the field of journalism from the very beginning of his career, majoring in journalism and political science at Indiana University.
After graduation, he took his first job with the old Bloomington Journal and quickly followed with assignments in the Indianapolis and New York offices of United Press, the Ohio State Journal in Columbus and a more lengthy stay with Associated Press.
There he served for two years in the Pittsburgh office and eight years with the Washington, D.C., bureau as editor and U.S. Senate and White House correspondent.
He picked up his duties as White House correspondent near the end of the Wilson administration and continued on through the Harding and Coolidge administrations.
While accompanying Harding on his West Coast and Alaska trip in 1923, Bartley scored a journalistic coup by being the first reporter to file the story of President Warren G. Harding's death.
In 1924, Bartley was assigned the Republican candidate for vice president, Gen. Charles G. Dawes, and was later selected as Dawes' secretary. Bartley was selected to head a mission to the Dominican Republic at the expiration of Dawes term in office.
Then it was on to Wall Street for Bartley, where he worked for two years with the firm of Harris, Upham & Company. This was immediately followed by his selection as director of promotion in charge of publicity for Chicago's Century of Progress International Exposition in 1932.
1936 found Bartley associated again with politics, acting as the personal press representative for the Republican Presidential nominee, Gov. Alf M. Landon of Kansas.
Following the campaign, Bartley was engaged in publicity work in Chicago before joining the Indiana University staff in 1938 as head of the News Bureau and director of public relations. In 1958, his title was changed to director of University Relations. He retired from this job in 1962 after 24 years of service to Indiana University.
He has served as president of the White House Correspondents Association, the Hoosier chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the Indiana University Men's Faculty Club and the Monroe County unit of the Indiana Heart Association.
He was also a past president of the American College Public Relations Association which honored him in 1952 by awarding him the association's "Outstanding Achievement Award."
Among his other awards are a 1960 citation from the Indiana professional chapter of Sigma Delta Chi; the first Herman B Wells award given by the Indiana University chapter of Sigma Delta Chi; a recognition medallion from the Monroe County Heart Association for his work as president, secretary of the Board of Directors and chairman of information.
E. Ross Bartley died Friday, April 4, 1969 at the age of 77. He left his wife Pearl Myers Bartley; two sons, Edward Ross Bartley, Jr. and Richard M. Bartley; and one daughter, Mrs. Robert C. Gardner.