William Taft, historian and journalism educator, dies at 95

Historians in the News

COLUMBIA — One requirement that sticks out in students' minds of William Taft's history and principles of journalism class was to memorize and recite the Journalist's Creed written by Walter Williams, founding dean of the Missouri School of Journalism.

“Bill Taft was a man who cared deeply about the craft of journalism and cared deeply about the school,” said Professor Emeritus George Kennedy, a former student and colleague at the Missouri School of Journalism. “He knew his material well and insisted that you master it.”

Taft, credited with teaching more than 10,000 students in a career as a journalism educator that spanned 25 years, died Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at Lenoir Woods. He was 95.

Taft first came to the Missouri School of Journalism in 1956. Brian Brooks, associate dean, said that Taft influenced two or three generations of Missouri journalism students “in a very positive way.”...

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