Born: November 6, 1916
Died: October 7, 2011
Ohio connection: Former Resident
George E. Condon was a journalist, author and historian born in Fall River, Massachusetts, but who grew up in the Irish neighborhoods of Cleveland’s near West Side. Condon and his family moved to Cleveland in 1927, when he was 11 years old. He attended St. Patrick Catholic School and West Technical High School. After graduating, he majored in journalism at Ohio State University. It was there Condon met Marjorie Philona Smith; they married in 1942 and moved to Lakewood the following year. The couple had seven children.
Condon began his career at The Plain Dealer in 1943 as a general assignment reporter. He became newspaper’s first TV columnist five years later. After working as television and radio critic from 1948-1962, Condon secured a position as op-ed columnist. For over 20 years, Condon penned a daily column from 1962 until his retirement in 1985. Along with his journalistic achievements, Condon found time to write books. As a reporter and historian, George Condon authored 11 books; those chronicling the history of Cleveland include: Cleveland: The Best Kept Secret; Laughter from the Rafters, Stars in the Water: The Story of the Erie Canal and a photographic history called Yesterdays Cleveland. In 2006 West of the Cuyahoga was published, the year of Condon’s 90th birthday. In an interview his daughter, Susan Love, said, “Even after retirement, my Dad couldn’t stop writing. He always had a book in progress — and it would be about some aspect of Cleveland history, his passion.”
George E. Condon employed his talents as journalist and author to grace us with his charming Irish wit, satirical humor, and his appreciation of Cleveland. He died on October 7, 2011 in his sleep at Huntington Woods, Westlake; he was 94.
Cleveland Press Club award for professional excellence, the 15th annual Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature by the Cleveland Women’s City Club, the Ohioiana Book Award of 1975, the Emily Gray Burke Memorial Award, and the Distinguished Service Award of the National Society of Professional Journalists (formerly Sigma Delta Chi journalism fraternity)