Ben, Libba George inducted into newspaper HOF

Published 9:08 am Thursday, July 29, 2010

Former Demopolis Times publishers Elizabeth "Libba" George and Ben George will be inducted into the Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor.

Ben and Elizabeth “Libba” George, former publishers of The Demopolis Times, will be inducted into the Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor this fall.

The Georges will be the first husband-wife team inducted into the Hall of Honor at the same time. The couple published The Demopolis Times from 1936 to 1967, though the paper had been in Libba’s family for many years.

“Libba and Ben George, combined with their daughters, were and are a great asset to Demopolis and West Alabama as good citizens and as newspaper publishers.  They knew how to produce a good newspaper, and did over many years.  It was truly a family effort, with each of the adults and their children understanding the strengths of the family members and putting them together to serve their community, build a good business and make a good life,” said Jim Boone of Tuscaloosa, chairman of Boone Newspapers, Inc. and former publisher of The Tuscaloosa News.  “Our communities and our country were built by people like the Georges, and it is appreciated and appropriate that they be so honored,” he said.

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Her father, Edward C. Cornish, and her brother, George A. Cornish were inducted into the Hall of Honor in 1968 and 1994, respectively.

Ben George started work at the paper in 1930, and became publisher in 1936. He served as president of the Alabama Press Association in 1956. He was active in the Demopolis community serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Demopolis City Board of Education.

Libba worked at the paper for more than five decades, and was also active in community affairs. She was president of the Demopolis PTA, was a Sunday School teacher at the First Methodist Church for more than 60 years, and was a volunteer tutor for the dyslexia program.

She was named Outstanding Citizen in Demopolis in 1980, nominated for Alabama Mother of the Year, and was honored by the Alabama Department of Human Resources for founding the faith-based “Bargain Box,” a household goods and clothing service. The Georges remained active in APA, attending conventions for more than 20 years after they sold the paper in 1967.

The ceremony will be held Oct. 2 at Auburn University.

The program time has not been set, pending the start time of the Auburn vs. Louisiana-Monroe football game.