Theodore W. Noyes followed in his father's footsteps. As the successor to Crosby Noyes in the editor's chair at the Washington Evening Star, Theodore Noyes exhibited the same driving dedication to objective reporting and to the improvement and development of the nation's capital that had brought his father fame and the Star its position of dominance among Washington newspapers. Noyes was editor in chief of the Star for thirty-eight years, only two years less than his father, and had been long involved in the editorial leadership of the paper before his father died in 1908.
Theodore Noyes enthusiastically joined his father in various editorial campaigns for improving the nation's capital, and for getting the federal government to pay its fair share of operating the District of Columbia. Many of the physical assets that are today enjoyed by Washington residents and tourists were first championed by Noyes on the pages of the Star. Noyes felt equally at home with his pen--he never used a typewriter in his fifty years with newspapers--and as a persuasive speaker in the halls of Congress and in numerous radio addresses.
Theodore Williams Noyes was born in 1858 to Crosby Stuart Noyes, then an assistant editor on the Star, and Elizabeth Selina Williams Noyes. His brother, Frank Brett Noyes, who was to become the first president of the modern Associated Press in 1900, was born in 1863.
Unlike his father, Theodore Noyes had the advantage of a formal education. After attending the public schools in Washington, he entered the preparatory program at Columbian College (which later became George Washington University) at age twelve. When he was nineteen he began his career as a reporter for the Star, of which Crosby Noyes had become part owner and editor in chief in 1867. After four years, he returned to Columbian to attend law school, receiving his LL.B. in 1882 and his LL.M. in 1883.
Upon graduation, he was in poor health, and so he did not return to the Star but accepted a job with a law firm in the drier climate of Sioux Falls, Dakota Territory. He wrote a weekly column for the Sioux Falls Press, helped draft the plan for state government for the territory, and was elected county judge; but before taking office, he returned to Washington in 1886 to accept the associate editor's post at the Star and to work closely with his father, who was then sixty-one years old. In that same year, he married Mary E. Prentice. They had three children, Ruth, Elizabeth, and Theodore Prentice.
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