Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
04 Sep 1918 2
1918 1
Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma 2
Oklahoma 1
Death:
28 Feb 2009 2
Phoenix, AZ 2
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Personal Details

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Person:
Paul Harvey Aurandt 2
Paul H M L M Aurandt 1
Also known as: Paul Harvey 2
Level of Education: 1 year of college 1
Marital Status: Married 2
Marital Status: Married 1
Birth:
04 Sep 1918 2
1918 1
Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma 2
Oklahoma 1
Male 2
Death:
28 Feb 2009 3
Phoenix, AZ 3
Burial:
Forest Home Cemetery Forest Park IL 3
Residence:
Place: River Forest, Illinois 2
Place: Chicago, Illinois 2
Place: Detroit, Michigan 2
Place: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2
Place: Salina, Kansas 2
Place: St Louis, Missouri 2
Place: Tulsa County, Oklahoma 1
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Birth:
Mother: Anna Dagmar Christensen 2
Father: Harry Harrison Aurandt 2
Marriage:
Evelyn Cooper Aurandt aka Lynne Cooper Harvey 2
05 Aug 1940 2
Ste Genevieve County, Missouri 2
To: 08 May 2008 2
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
21 Dec 1943 1
Army Branch:
Air Corps 1
Army Component:
Reserves - exclusive of Regular Army Reserve and Officers of the Officers Reserve Corps on active duty under the Thomason Act (Officers and Enlisted Men -- O.R.C. and E.R.C., and Nurses-Reserve Status) 1
Army Serial Number:
38591581 1
Enlistment Place:
Tulsa Oklahoma 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Enlisted Reserve or Medical Administrative Corps (MAC) Officer 1
Edit
Quote:
"I'm very happy for other people to put their money where my mouth is." 2
Occupation:
Broadcaster 2
Occupation:
Clerks and kindred occupations, n.e.c. 1
Religion:
Presbyterian 2
Race or Ethnicity:
White 2
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 1355 1
Film Reel Number: 6.121 1

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Stories

This is the late broadcaster "Paul Harvey" who died in February, 2009.

The Rest Of The Story: Paul Harvey, Conservative Talk Radio Pioneer

Say "conservative radio" to most young people today and they'll likely come up with a name like Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck. But those guys are the offspring of the industry's grandfather — one who told stories more often than he raised his voice, and who narrated history and the present to a generation of young listeners.

His name was Paul Harvey, and his gentle storytelling program was the launching pad for an entire cast of well-known faces from today's conservative movement, from Mitt Romney to Mike Huckabee to Fred Thompson.

To some people he was a far-right conservative, a brother in arms to the John Birch Society, Billy Graham, William F. Buckley and other icons of the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

But Paul Harvey was also a delightful history teacher — with a velvety voice that turned the news into narrative and entertainment each week on his famous segmentThe Rest of the Story.

For more than three decades, from the 1970s to his death in 2009, Harvey would address his millions of listeners six days a week, giving them the backstory to people, things and events both famous and not-so-known.

From the origin of Coca-Cola to an account of JFK's assassination through his widow's eyes, from his tales of Elvis Presley's childhood to the Revolutionary War, the Oklahoma native had a magical fluidity to his storytelling. To hear him now is to feel at least a little nostalgic for that classic-radio mid-American accent — the kind that makes you think of political power in the 1940s and '50s, from FDR to Truman.

Indeed, Harvey came out of that age of politics: He briefly served in World War II but was discharged (possibly for psychiatric reasons, an account he disputed). He made his way to Chicago, where he took up broadcasting on ABC — and he didn't leave the airwaves for years.

He quickly made his name by explaining the "mysteries of history" and commenting, sometimes with extreme fervor, on the decline of American moralism. There is his classic, Jonathan Edwards-esque If I Were the Devil: How to Destroy America.

And how many know that Harvey earned a permanent spot in the history textbookswhen he coined the phrase Reaganomics?

A longtime lover of history — a love cultivated by a single mother who raised him after his policeman father was killed — Harvey made waves early, getting his first radio gig at just age 14. And even though he would have plenty of mentors along the way, his work was most often honed by his wife — and producer — who was also a fervent student of history and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.

But as I and any other editor, writer, reporter or media professional will tell you, it's often not enough to have the right voice, stories and supporting team. What every storytelling program needs is an investor, and among Harvey's truest gifts was his ability to keep sponsors.

Much like the ubiquitous voice on NPR thanking the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Harvey's voice, transitioning seamlessly from a story to commentary to a carefully placed advertisement, became a kind of brand kingmaker. People trusted what he was telling, and so they trusted what he was selling.

Harvey's success in bringing backstories and history to life arguably paved the way for many American documentary programs like Behind the Music. He was a master at connecting yesterday to the present and to tomorrow — he was an early proponent of drawing insight from the past in order to do better in the future.

His guest hosts in the 1990s and 2000s are faces we still see in conservative circles of power and politics. When Harvey passed away in 2009, his show was taken over briefly by his son, followed by Gil Gross and then Mike Huckabee. But it didn't last without him and ultimately gave way to a new generation of increasingly strident political and family-values radio.

For now, though, listen to Harvey, who's speaking in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, as he discusses the "utter futility of words." Coming from him, they were anything but.

 

Paul Harvey: The End of the Story

"This is Paul Harvey." That clarion Midwestern voice was its own time machine; it carried listeners back to radio days of yore, when a distinctive vocal performance was as important as good looks are in TV news today. The opinions Harvey expressed were old-fashioned as well: politically and socially conservative, the musings of a grandpa who's seen it all — or, as he put it, "In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these." It is hardly an exaggeration to say that when Harvey died at 90, on Saturday, at his winter home in Phoenix, he took the whole history of radio with him.

Born before the first commercial radio stations went on the air, Harvey fashioned a personality and career that spanned the medium's Golden Age, its postwar retreat into a pop jukebox and its later resurgence as the place for news and talk — exactly what Harvey did for more than 75 years. He spoke with clarion clarity, his voice an elocution teacher's pride, easily parodied but intimate, powerful and oh-so-precise. It was "nee-ews," never the lazy "nooze," and "reck-ord," not "reckerd." For emphasis, he'd add a vowel to a word with abutting consonants ("web-a-site"). Many of his fans were of his generation, but a few young'uns had to be tuning in: his broadcasts reached some 12 million weekly listeners on 1,200 radio stations and 400 Armed Forces Network affiliates. Nor did you have to agree with Harvey to find him a radio entertainer of the highest quality. (Read TIME's "Top 10 iPhone Applications," including Pandora's Internet Radio.)

Paul Harvey Aurandt was born in Tulsa, Okla., in 1918; his father was shot and killed by robbers when Paul was 3. As a kid, he built a radio set to receive distant magic signals, and in high school, a teacher nudged him into a radio booth at local station KVOO. Jobs in Salina, Kans., Oklahoma City and Honolulu followed just before Pearl Harbor brought him to Chicago in 1944. He stayed there, hosting a Jobs for G.I. Joe program, adding his signature phrase "the rest of the story" the following year. He got his own show, on WENR, with his wife Lynne, another radio pioneer, serving as producer and co-writer. In 1951 he joined the ABC network with Paul Harvey News and Comment, a title that stuck for 58 years. Nine years ago, ABC re-upped Harvey with a 10-year, $100 million contract.

A salesman for himself and his vision of the American dream, he was also a master peddler of many products, whose makers were as loyal to Harvey as his listeners were. A skit from the 1984-85 season of Saturday Night Live had Harvey (played by Rich Hall) compulsively peppering his news items with sponsor names. The man remained unapologetic. "Some days," he told Larry King in 1988, "the best news in the broadcast is the commercial. You can keep your natural teeth all your natural life! There is a glove that doesn't wear out! There is a car battery that keeps its promises! That's good news! And I would use those things on the air if they were not in the body of the commercial." The finest huckster is the one who has first sold himself on the product.

In his last years, Harvey's resonance wavered a bit; an occasional vocal crack gave a whimsical tone to the music of his script. But his métier never changed. It remained a mix of headlines, mild fulminations ("Americans, do notprotest bone-marrow stem-cell transplants") and lighter-side anecdotes. "Doctors have removed a kidney stone the size of a coconut," he said in late January, adding with a little startle, "seven inches-a across!" He could tut-tut with a smile: "Have you noticed," he asked just before this year's Super Bowl, "some players with hair that sticks from under their helmets?" And he respected his elders, sending best wishes to long-married couples: "Agnes and John Caroline in Lavalette, N.J., are 71 years along the way to forever together."

Such was his authority, among the skeptical and gullible alike, that minor industries sprang up around him. A book version of The Rest of the Story, first published in 1977, hit its 18th printing in four years. And on the Internet, you'll find 65,000 links to what is known as the Paul Harvey riddle: "What is greater than God, more evil than the devil? The poor have it, the rich don't need it. And if you eat it, you'll die." There is no evidence that Harvey ever read this on the air, but it's just the kind of whimsical poser that, because his name was attached to it, attracted a zillion Googlers. He sold concepts too. (Answer to the riddle: nothing.)

The rosy sentimentalist was also a fretful conservative; he backed Joe McCarthy's search for imaginary communists in the State Department. But sometimes he just got fed up, reversing himself on the Vietnam War, telling Richard Nixon, "Mr. President, I love you, but you're wrong." In 2005 he suggested that the U.S. should have used nuclear weapons in both Iraq and Afghanistan; yet as casualties mounted in Iraq, he showed impatience, frustration, a hint that he felt betrayed by the policy he'd supported.

A month ago, Harvey knocked Nancy Pelosi because she "rubber-stamped" the stimulus package. He called on Congress to do its job and not "sit on the economic skillet and let the pork sizzle." This was mild stuff compared with a joke Harvey passed along to his listeners in September 2007 about an imaginary meeting of David Petraeus and Chelsea Clinton. The President's daughter asks the general if he's afraid of anything, and Harvey gives this reply: "I am afraid of three things. I am afraid of Osama, and I am afraid of Obama, and, Ms. Clinton, I am afraid of yo' mama. Heh heh heh. Paul Harvey: Good day!"

It was a similar piece of Harvey hokum that led Keith Olbermann to apostrophize, "Probably time for you to give us your final 'Good day!' " But Harvey was no quitter. He reduced his workload to a few broadcasts a week (his son Paul Jr., a longtime writer for the show, was a frequent guest host), but he would not give up the gig after a bout of pneumonia, or his 90th birthday, or even Lynne's death, in 2007, after 67 years of marriage. "Retiring," he said, "is just practicing up to be dead. That doesn't take any practice." He was still broadcasting the week before he died.

Less a maker of news than a conduit for popular sentiment about the news, Harvey told King, "I don't think of myself as a profound journalist. I think of myself as a professional parade watcher who can't wait to get out of bed every morning and rush down to the Teletypes and pan for gold."

Teletypes, computer keys and maybe radio itself should go quiet for a moment to honor the man who for three-quarters of a century watched the parade and, strutting and smiling, helped lead it.

The Rest of Paul Harvey’s Story–Part 1

by Craig Manson

Even as he represented a kind of normalcy and stability, broadcasting legend Paul Harvey’s personal story was unusual.  Murder, the Ku Klux Klan, perhaps a secret marriage, a grand jury probing the possible theft of  atomic secrets–all of these things are part of the rest of Paul Harvey’s story.

Paul Harvey Aurandt was born on September 4, 1918, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  His father was Harry Harrison Aurandt, a Tulsa police officer, and his mother was Anna Dagmar Christensen, a Danish immigrant. The Aurandt family traces its lineage back to Johannes Aurandt, born in Hohenstein in about 1590. He died in about 1637.  Paul Harvey’s direct ancestor also named  Johannes Aurandt (1725-1808) came to America in the 18th century and settled Pennsylvania. Harry Harrison Aurandt, Paul’s father, was born in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania in 1873.  Harry’s father, William Aurandt, died when Harry was less than two years old.  Harry eventually moved west and met Anna Dagmar Christensen, who had immigrated to America from Denmark.   They were married in Princeton, Mercer County, Missouri, which is on the Iowa border.  At some point, they moved to Witchita, Kansas, and from there to Tulsa.  Their daughter, Frances, was born in 1909.

In Tulsa, Harry was a police officer and apparently was fairly saavy at the job.  He became secretary to the police commissioner.  His wife Dagmar was something of a social maven, frequently appearing “Here, There, and Everywhere in Social Tulsa,” (which was the name of a society column in the Tulsa World).

On December 18, 1921, when his son Paul was three years old, Harry Aurandt was off duty with a friend, Chief Detective Ike Wilkinson.  They went rabbit-hunting.  As they drove,

they observed a car standing facing south; after proceeding a short distance past this other car the car in rear followed and passed the car occupied by Wilkinson and Aurandt, and as they passed Wilkinson and Aurandt observed three revolvers protruding from the curtains inclosing the car and heard a command, accompanied by oaths, to stop their car. In response to this command Wilkinson and Aurandt guided their car to the side of the paving and stopped; the car from which the command to stop had been given drove past them and stopped immediately in front of the car occupied by Wilkinson and Aurandt, at a place about 17 to 20 feet from where their car stood. The lights of Aurandt’s car were on, so that the space around the car ahead was illuminated.

[Two men emerged from the car] both with revolvers in their hands [and began shooting].. . . Wilkinson, while preparing to alight, was severely wounded in the thigh and leg, which  caused him to sink back into the car seat. During the drive preceding the shooting Wilkinson had a small bore shotgun, looking for rabbits to shoot as they drove along; during the affray he attempted to shoot at [one of the bandits] with this shotgun, but the gun snapped and the shell failed to explode, and while he was in the act of trying to use the second barrel a shot from [the assailant's] revolver knocked the gun out of Wilkinson’s hands.

Cook v. State, 226 P. 595, 27 Okl.Cr. 215, 217-18 (1924).

Aurandt was wounded in the lungs and liver.  Despite being so gravely wounded, Harry Aurandt drove himself and Wilkinson away from the scene to a residence about a mile and a half distant.  Aurandt and Wilkinson were taken to the hospital as Tulsa city police and the Tulsa County sheriff formed posses to track the assailants.

Harry Aurandt died in the hospital two days after the incident.

The aftermath of the shooting turned into one of the most bizarre series of events in Oklahoma history.  Four men were identified as suspects:  Alvis Fears, Tom W. Cook, Bill Dalton, and Frank Shelton.  Fears and Cook were “well-known  to the authorities.”   It is not clear whether “Shelton” and “Dalton” aliases or not.

Within hours, three of them, Fears, Cook, and “Dalton” were taken into custody. As word spread that the suspects had been apprehended, a crowd began to congregate around the Tulsa courthouse.  It was soon evident that the crowd, estimated at 1,500 or more, intended to lynch the suspects.

Tulsa County Sheriff W.M. “Bill” McCullough told the mob that the suspects had been removed to a place of safety.  The Tulsa World reported: “It was then proposed that a committee go through the jail to make sure.”

The committee consisted of a Presbyterian minister, a Methodist minister, and three other men. The Presbyterian minister, the Rev. C.W. Kerr, had been the Aurandts’ pastor.

The Sheriff let the committee into the courthouse and after a thorough search, Rev. Kerr reported that there was no sign of the inmates.  He then gave an impassioned speech in which he urged the crowd not to “blacken the reputation of Tulsa,” and that “the law must be allowed to take its course.”  Kerr was persuasive and the crowd stood down and dispersed.

Sheriff McCullough had personally escorted the prisoners to Macalester, Oklahoma, earlier in the day when he had heard rumors of the intended lynching.

The bizarre events had only just begun.

The Tulsa World, in a strangely written story,  reported on  Harry Aurandt’s funeral:

The casket had just been lowered, the last words of the chaplain had just sounded, when swiftly, before the two or three hundred men and women gathered around the tent erected over the grave had time to make a movement, the white procession crossed the gravel road and passed single file through the aisle between the Knights Templar and the members of the police force.  No one had seen them come nor knew they were there.  On each uniform was the black and red insignia of the  KKK.

Entering the tent open at one side, they circled the grave.  The leader laid  the flaming cross that he carried upon the casket, each of the 11 dropped a rose upon it.  They made crimson splotches on the massed pink and white flowers that heaped the coffin.  Ministers, Masons, Knights Templar, uniformed policemen, and civilians stood in dazed silence as the Ku Klux Klan cross the road again and were gone.  Without a word the crowd slowly broke up and by the time people had reached their cars there was not a trace of any of the 12 white sheeted figures.

The Klansmen advanced toward the scene of burial in single file.  Their eyes were glued ahead with soldierly steadfastness.  A high wind was blowing and occasionally a strong blast would threaten to blow the flap like masks out of position and expose the face of the wearer.  But on all such occasions, the robed figures reached up and held the masks in place.  Although they had marched almost halfway across the cemetery, participants in the burial ceremonies were so engrossed they did not notice the approach until the Klansmen were only a few feet away.  The twelve figures stopped and remained stationary until  the Masonic rites were completed.

When those in charge of the services saw them nearby, they quickly stepped back and allowed sufficient room for the Klansmen to past between their lines.  Not a word was spoken as the figures performed their impressive and mysterious ceremonies.

No one in Tulsa has ever witnessed such a ceremony before, nor had they heard of it being performed in any other city.  Whether it is part of the Ku Klux Klan’s  established rites and ceremonies or if it was inspired locally is a matter of conjecture.

” Was he a member?”  “Does the blood red Rose have significance that could be taken to mean that the Klansmen intend to cherish the memory and avenge the untimely death of a brother?”

These were some of the  questions  that pass through the group of spectators when they had recovered from their surprise and the Klansmen had disappeared.

Tulsa World, December 22, 1921, p. 1

[NOTE:  There is no evidence that Harry Aurandt was a member of the KKK. In a  book published nine years ago, author Ron Owens offers an observation about the Klan's ceremony at Aurandt's funeral:

"This was a fairly standard practice of the times and was not interpreted as indicative that the officer had been a member of the KKK.  The organization used these occasions to make a public appearance, probably intended a mute statement of their power and numbers, while symbolically paying their respects and announcing their dissatisfaction with the ultimate act of lawlessness, the murder of a law enforcement officer.  This interpretation was reinforced when the county sheriff and other law enforcement officers began receiving anonymous letters from the "Invisible Empire" demanding that they decrease they lawlessness or risk vigilante justice."

Owens, R., Oklahoma Heroes: The Oklahoma Peace Officers Memorial (Turner Publishing Co., 2000), page 42.

The reader may decide whether the Klan had standing to be dissatisfied with any act of lawlessness.  Other sources have documented KKK appearances at law enforcement funerals in the 1920's.  See for example the description of a Miami officer's funeral in 1925, where "special seating arrangements were made" for the Klan and "at either end of the casket stood a Knight of the Ku Klux Klan, keeping silent vigil over the form of his departed brother."  Wilbanks, W.,  Forgotten Heroes: Police Officers Killed in Dade County, 1895-1995 (Turner Publishing Co. 1997), page 36.  See also photograph of Klan parade at funeral for a slain Madison, Wisconsin, officer in 1902 at Wisconsin Historical Images.]

A few days after Harry Aurandt’s death, an insurance company  ran the following quarter-page ad in the Tulsa World:

(click for larger image)

With several of the suspects in jail and the venue having been changed to Pawnee County, the trial commenced on April 10, 1922.  Although the prosecution called a number of expert and percipient witnesses, the testimony of Det. Wilkerson was key to the case.

The jury, after deliberating for fifty hours, convicted the defendants, and then sentenced them to life in prison.  But there was more fallout to come.

At the time of Harry Aurandt’s murder, John Calloway Walton was the mayor of Tulsa.  In 1922, this Hoosier-turned-Sooner rode a coalition of Socialists, farmers, and labor activists into the Governor’s office.  As Governor, he vowed to continue his fight against the Ku Klux Klan, which he had begun while mayor of Tulsa.

Walton carried on his war against the Klan with zeal.  He declared martial law in Okmulgee and Tulsa Counties and convened a military court in Tulsa to investigate the Klan.  He suspended the writ of habeas corpus in several counties in direct contravention of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Meanwhile, however, Walton had taken the Klan’s secret oath and had appointed some Klansmen to state jobs, believing he could win their support and cooperation.

Walton opposed the death penalty and was extremely liberal with paroles and pardons.  Following the conviction of the murderers of Paul Harvey’s father, Harry Aurandt, Walton granted a furlough pending appeal to Alvis Fears, one of the murderers.  Fears did not return to prison when scheduled  but instead remained a fugitive for some time thereafter, committing other crimes.

Fears was still at large in 1923, when Oklahoma’s  Court of Criminal Appeals was to hear his appeal in the Aurandt murder together with that of co-defendant Tom W. Cook.  The court dismissed Fears’ appeal because of his fugitive status.  As to Cook, the court held that much of the evidence relating to his identification was inadmissible hearsay.  His conviction was reversed and the case remanded for possible retrial.

In January, 1924, Fears was taken into custody near Tulsa by a force of officers from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  He and some of the others were charged with robbing a bank in Ashbury, Missouri.  One of the others arrested at that time with Fears was Guy McKenzie.  McKenzie had been convicted in 1914 of murdering prominent Tulsa lawyer and school board member Charley Reuter.  Governor Walton had pardoned McKenzie in 1923.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Legislature had lost its patience  with the Governor’s dupliciousness and brought impeachment proceedings against Walton.  The Governor sought the intervention of the federal courts, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

The Oklahoma Senate removed Walton from office in November 1923 for, among other things, “illegal collection of campaign funds, padding the public payroll, suspension of habeas corpus, excessive use of the pardon power, and general incompetence.”

It is not clear what ultimately became of the murderers of Officer Aurandt.

Coming Next:  Did Paul Harvey have a secret marriage?  Why was he arrested by federal agents in 1950? The Rest of Paul Harvey’s Story Concludes

The Rest of Paul Harvey’s Story--Conclusion

by Craig Manson

Paul Harvey Aurandt eventually overcame the  murder of his father, a Tulsa police officer, when Paul was just a toddler.  That murder spun off a series of bizarre incidents in the State of Oklahoma:

  • A lynch mob demanded that the Tulsa County sheriff prove that the accused were not in the jail.  They dispersed after their hand-picked “inspection committee,”  which included the Aurandts’ family pastor concluded that the three alleged assailants had been moved elsewhere.
  • An insurance company took out a quarter-page newspaper ad to boast that it paid Mrs Aurandt’s claim in less than twenty-four hours after Harry Aurandt’s death.  The ad included a photo image of the actual check given to the widow.
  • The Ku Klux Klan appeared without notice at Officer Aurandt’s funeral and performed a silent and mysterious ritual.
  • After two of the accused were convicted, the Governor of Oklahoma (and former Tulsa mayor), John Calloway Walton, granted one of the murderers a furlough from prison.  Alvis Fears did not return to prison as scheduled. Instead, he hooked up with a gang of other criminals to commit other crimes. It took a task force of officers from three states to capture him after a bank robbery in Missouri.
  • The Oklahoma legislature impeached and removed Governor Walton from office, convicting him of  “excessive parole and pardon” practices, among other things.

Each of these things was a part of the ambient environment of Tulsa as Paul Aurandt grew up with his sister Frances (nine years older), being raised by their Danish emigre mother.

When Paul was in high school, a teacher took him to the studios of KVOO radio in Tulsa and suggested a career in radio for him.  Although he started out sweeping up at night, he eventually got on the air.

The Secret Wedding–Who Exactly Did Paul Marry and When?

Paul later attended the University of Tulsa and had radio jobs in Salina, Kansas, and Oklahoma City before going to St Louis to work at the former KXOK. It was there that he met Evelyn Cooper, a soon to be Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University.  Authoritative biographies of both Paul and “Lynne” say that he asked her out for dinner and then proposed on their first date.

Many of these same biographies say that Paul began calling his sweetheart “Angel” that very evening, a practice he continued throughout their lives.   Others, however, say that Lynne Cooper had been called “Angel” since childhood.

Most biographies agree that Paul and Lynne were married in 1940. Most such biographies say the wedding was in June 4, 1940 (see for example the obituary in the Chicago Tribune). In the Missouri marriage records, there is just one marriage for a Paul H. Aurandt.  That marriage took place on August 5, 1940, in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri.  Ste Genevieve County is south of St Louis on the Mississippi River.  The Paul H. Aurandt on this Ste Genevieve marriage license claimed to be from San Francisco, California, as did his bride, Evelyn Betts.

Evelyn Betts?

And did we mention that on the face of the marriage license are the words “Please do not publish”? This is almost certainly the marriage of Paul Harvey Aurandt and Evelyn Cooper.   Why did they conceal their marriage?  Why did they later adjust the date by two months?  To answer those questions, we probably need to unravel the complicated genealogy of the impressive woman known most of her 92, or perhaps 95 years, as “Lynne Cooper Harvey,” but who might have been Evelyn Buergler and who died as “Evelyn Cooper Aurandt.”

The Newsman is Arrested by Federal Authorities

Argonne National Laboratory was during the Cold War one of America’s most secret nuclear research facilities.  Located 25 miles from Chicago, it had been part of the Manhattan Project to produce the first atomic bomb. One evening in early February 1951, when the Cold War was arguably at its highest level of tension, Paul Aurandt climbed a fence at the Argonne facility and dropped to the floor inside.  He was promptly detained by a security guard. The guard turned Aurandt over to the FBI which at that time was in charge of security at Argonne.

Aurandt was questioned by the FBI and released. But his detention became national news.  “Paul Harvey” by that time had become extremely well-known throughout the country, thanks to his show on the ABC Radio Networks.  Aurandt said that he had entered Argonne “working in cooperation and conjunction with the investigating divisions” of certain government agencies which he declined to identify. He said that he was “not at liberty, nor authorized by the governmental investigating agencies to release any story or information concerning the matters upon which he has been working.” He said he was testing the lax security at the lab.

The Chicago Daily Tribune reported that accompanying Aurandt on his raid was John Crowley of Chicago, who was identified as a “reserve naval lieutenant and a civilian employee of the Office of Naval Intelligence.”  The Tribune also reported that a laboratory security guard was also with them.

According to the Associated Press, the FBI issued a statement denying that Aurandt had ever been employed by the FBI. Later at a news conference called in his Lake Shore Drive apartment, Aurandt said that  “explanation of the events will have to come from another source.”

The Truman Administration, however, was outraged.  Otto Kerner, Jr., the United States Attorney for Northern Illinois, announced his intention to seek a felony indictment of Aurandt on charges carrying a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. Kerner told the press that he had been instructed in the matter by high level officials in the Department of Justice in Washington.

[Kerner later became Governor of Illinois and later a judge on the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Kerner was forced to resign his judgeship when he was sentenced to three years in prison for taking bribes while Governor.]

In an unusual move, Aurandt requested and was granted permission to appear before the grand jury.  Aurandt’s lead attorney was former Illinois Senator Charles Wayland Brooks.  Another unusual aspect of the case was that Congressman Fred Busbey asked Kerner, the U.S. Attorney, to keep the case “open” until he, Busbey, could arrive in Chicago with “important evidence” concerning the matter.

The FBI investigation revealed that a security guard at Argonne, Charles Rogal, had noticed what he considered to be instances of laxity in Argonne’s security procedures.  H e contacted Naval Reserve Lt. Crowley and Aurandt.  The relationship among the three is not known.  Rogal was with Aurandt and Crowley on their incursion into the lab.  He was later discharged by the government for his role in the matter.

After hearing more than a dozen witnesses over a two week period, the grand jury declined to indict Aurandt.  The grand jury foreman told the Chicago Tribune that it was “not a close vote.”

The Tribune said that Aurandt issued a statement after the grand jury action saying, among other things, “if our internal security has been improved by the fact that national attention was focused on this situation, I am extremely grateful.”

The grand jury’s vote may have been a vote of confidence in “Paul Harvey.”  His career continued to thrive after the incident and it was almost never mentioned again in the press.

“And now you know the rest of the story!”

 

Paul Harvey Aurandt eventually overcame the  murder of his father, a Tulsa police officer, when Paul was just a toddler.  That murder spun off a series of bizarre incidents in the State of Oklahoma:

  • A lynch mob demanded that the Tulsa County sheriff prove that the accused were not in the jail.  They dispersed after their hand-picked “inspection committee,”  which included the Aurandts’ family pastor concluded that the three alleged assailants had been moved elsewhere.
  • An insurance company took out a quarter-page newspaper ad to boast that it paid Mrs Aurandt’s claim in less than twenty-four hours after Harry Aurandt’s death.  The ad included a photo image of the actual check given to the widow.
  • The Ku Klux Klan appeared without notice at Officer Aurandt’s funeral and performed a silent and mysterious ritual.
  • After two of the accused were convicted, the Governor of Oklahoma (and former Tulsa mayor), John Calloway Walton, granted one of the murderers a furlough from prison.  Alvis Fears did not return to prison as scheduled. Instead, he hooked up with a gang of other criminals to commit other crimes. It took a task force of officers from three states to capture him after a bank robbery in Missouri.
  • The Oklahoma legislature impeached and removed Governor Walton from office, convicting him of  “excessive parole and pardon” practices, among other things.

Each of these things was a part of the ambient environment of Tulsa as Paul Aurandt grew up with his sister Frances (nine years older), being raised by their Danish emigre mother.

When Paul was in high school, a teacher took him to the studios of KVOO radio in Tulsa and suggested a career in radio for him.  Although he started out sweeping up at night, he eventually got on the air.

The Secret Wedding–Who Exactly Did Paul Marry and When?

Paul later attended the University of Tulsa and had radio jobs in Salina, Kansas, and Oklahoma City before going to St Louis to work at the former KXOK. It was there that he met Evelyn Cooper, a soon to be Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University.  Authoritative biographies of both Paul and “Lynne” say that he asked her out for dinner and then proposed on their first date.

Many of these same biographies say that Paul began calling his sweetheart “Angel” that very evening, a practice he continued throughout their lives.   Others, however, say that Lynne Cooper had been called “Angel” since childhood.

Most biographies agree that Paul and Lynne were married in 1940. Most such biographies say the wedding was in June 4, 1940 (see for example the obituary in the Chicago Tribune). In the Missouri marriage records, there is just one marriage for a Paul H. Aurandt.  That marriage took place on August 5, 1940, in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri.  Ste Genevieve County is south of St Louis on the Mississippi River.  The Paul H. Aurandt on this Ste Genevieve marriage license claimed to be from San Francisco, California, as did his bride, Evelyn Betts.

Evelyn Betts?

And did I mention that on the face of the marriage license are the words “Please do not publish”? This is almost certainly the marriage of Paul Harvey Aurandt and Evelyn Cooper.   Why did they conceal their marriage?  Why did they later adjust the date by two months?  To answer those questions, we probably need to unravel the complicated genealogy of the impressive woman known most of her 92, or perhaps 95 years, as “Lynne Cooper Harvey,” but who might have been Evelyn Buergler and who died as “Evelyn Cooper Aurandt.”

Getting to the essence of “Angel’s” background proves to be a monumental task–so much so that GeneaBlogie’s Special Investigations Unit asked us to move our deadline, but they still could not complete the task  by press time.  But what did turn up is fascinating. So fascinating, in fact, that it will be the subject of a future post where we’ll show how we found out  what we found out.

The Newsman is Arrested by Federal Authorities

Argonne National Laboratory was during the Cold War one of America’s most secret nuclear research facilities.  Located 25 miles from Chicago, it had been part of the Manhattan Project to produce the first atomic bomb. One evening in early February 1951, when the Cold War was arguably at its highest level of tension, Paul Aurandt climbed a fence at the Argonne facility and dropped to the floor inside.  He was promptly detained by a security guard. The guard turned Aurandt over to the FBI which at that time was in charge of security at Argonne.

Aurandt was questioned by the FBI and released. But his detention became national news.  “Paul Harvey” by that time had become extremely well-known throughout the country, thanks to his show on the ABC Radio Networks.  Aurandt said that he had entered Argonne “working in cooperation and conjunction with the investigating divisions” of certain government agencies which he declined to identify. He said that he was “not at liberty, nor authorized by the governmental investigating agencies to release any story or information concerning the matters upon which he has been working.” He said he was testing the lax security at the lab.

The Chicago Daily Tribune reported that accompanying Aurandt on his raid was John Crowley of Chicago, who was identified as a “reserve naval lieutenant and a civilian employee of the Office of Naval Intelligence.”  The Tribune also reported that a laboratory security guard was also with them.

According to the Associated Press, the FBI issued a statement denying that Aurandt had ever been employed by the FBI. Later at a news conference called in his Lake Shore Drive apartment, Aurandt said that  “explanation of the events will have to come from another source.”

The Truman Administration, however, was outraged.  Otto Kerner, Jr., the United States Attorney for Northern Illinois, announced his intention to seek a felony indictment of Aurandt on charges carrying a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. Kerner told the press that he had been instructed in the matter by high level officials in the Department of Justice in Washington.

[Kerner later became Governor of Illinois and later a judge on the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Kerner was forced to resign his judgeship when he was sentenced to three years in prison for taking bribes while Governor.]

In an unusual move, Aurandt requested and was granted permission to appear before the grand jury.  Aurandt’s lead attorney was former Illinois Senator Charles Wayland Brooks.  Another unusual aspect of the case was that Congressman Fred Busbey asked Kerner, the U.S. Attorney, to keep the case “open” until he, Busbey, could arrive in Chicago with “important evidence” concerning the matter.

The FBI investigation revealed that a security guard at Argonne, Charles Rogal, had noticed what he considered to be instances of laxity in Argonne’s security procedures.  H e contacted Naval Reserve Lt. Crowley and Aurandt.  The relationship among the three is not known.  Rogal was with Aurandt and Crowley on their incursion into the lab.  He was later discharged by the government for his role in the matter.

After hearing more than a dozen witnesses over a two week period, the grand jury declined to indict Aurandt.  The grand jury foreman told the Chicago Tribune that it was “not a close vote.”

The Tribune said that Aurandt issued a statement after the grand jury action saying, among other things, “if our internal security has been improved by the fact that national attention was focused on this situation, I am extremely grateful.”

The grand jury’s vote may have been a vote of confidence in “Paul Harvey.”  His career continued to thrive after the incident and it was almost never mentioned again in the press.

“And now you know the rest of the story!”

 

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