DAA 2011: Donald Ring Mellet, 1914


Donald Ring Mellett, 1914

Donald Ring Mellett, 1914, was honored when his paper, The Canton Daily News (later acquired by The Repository), was awarded the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The paper was so honored largely because of efforts by Mellett, who was assassinated the year before after confronting local organized crime in the Ohio city. A charter member of IU’s chapter of the journalism honor society Sigma Delta Chi, Mellett left the university before graduation due to illness.

He worked at several newspapers across Indiana and Ohio before becoming the editor of the Canton paper. His journalism campaigns against corruption in the police department, school system and hospital on the editorial pages provoked death threats against him and his family. On July 26, 1926, he was gunned down outside his home. In the trial that followed, three men and the police chief were sentenced to life in prison.