Jack Stapleton, Jr., was born in Stanberry, Missouri (Gentry County), where his notable father operated three newspapers. In 1950 Mr. Stapleton, Jr., took ownership of the Stanberry Headlight from his father. In 1953, the two Mr. Stapletons purchased Dunklin Democrat (later, the Daily Dunklin Democrat) in Kennett, where Mr. Stapleton, Jr., has lived ever since. He sold the Democrat in 1989, but continued to work in the media field at the time of the interview, publishing the Missouri Political Newsletter. I first got interested in interviewing Mr. Stapleton for the Politics project through reading back issues of his newspaper, particularly as it covered the election fraud trail of 1970-1971 in neighboring Pemiscot County. Not until the interview did I learn of Mr. Stapleton Sr.s prominent role in an earlier era of Missouri politics. I met Mr. Stapleton, Jr. at his extraordinary Kennett office, a sizeable room with extremely little operating space owing to the hundreds of books, magazines, and other items crammed upon numerous shelves, plus the desk items, coffee and cigarette accommodations and other accouterments of a veteran journalist. Mr. Stapleton was very cordial, though understandably measured in his speech, and quite soft spoken, as perhaps one who especially appreciates the power of words.
The State Historical Society of Missouri
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