The Stars Are Right: Frank Lovejoy
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played by Andrew Cole
Frank Lovejoy is a staff writer for the Detroit Evening Times.
Born on August 28, 1900 as the third child of ten, Frank Lovejoy chafed at the oppressively blank horizons of his Bloomfield, Iowa home. An avid reader, he dreamed of mountains, oceans and cities, and vaguely resented the burdens placed on him as the oldest surviving child. His parents, Ralph and Jenny Lovejoy, both the children of immigrants, encouraged his ambitions as much as they could, but were able to spare little of his time. Frank left school after completing the eighth grade to help his father in running his grocery store, making deliveries in the store van. Leaving school hurt deeply, but he continued his education as best he could, drawing heavily on the town's Carnegie library. Frank came to view this library, which opened on August 8, 1913, as an early birthday present from the steel magnate.
With the outbreak of the Great War in Europe, Frank saw his chance, and served as a driver for the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps from 1916 until the end of the war. There he met other established and aspiring writers like John de Passos and Olaf Stapledon; Stapledon's position as a conscientious objector to the conflict was especially fascinating to Lovejoy, who adopted similar anti-military positions following his service.
Following the armistice, Lovejoy, along with other Americans who had contributed to the war effort, was offered a place at Oxford. The high school dropout jumped at the chance. After graduating with a degree in History in 1923, he drifted around Europe for a few years, supporting himself as a correspondent for various American newspapers and magazines, among them the Chicago Star and the Detroit Evening Times. Although he tried his hand at writing fiction, producing a handful of short stories and a formless, nervous novel, Lovejoy was a better reader of fiction than a producer of it. He proved a popular newspaperman, however, and so in 1926 he accepted a job as a feature writer for the Chicago Star and returned to the States to pen Night Beat, a column focusing on the disaffected personalities and communities that thrived in the White City after hours. The rash of unexplained occurrences in February, 1929 was an especially fertile time for Night Beat; Lovejoy was widely syndicated, and his May 22 column titled 'I Wish You Were Dead' was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing.
The stock market crash of 1929 cut deeply into the public's taste for the cavalcade of freaks, loners and dipsos that Lovejoy had chronicled with sympathy for nearly four years. The Star discontinued Night Beat, but offered to keep him on staff as a regular reporter for a substantially reduced salary. With more pride than sense, he declined, and returned to Bloomfield to try his hand at writing another book. Night Beat, a memoir of his Chicago years, was critically well-received but failed to sell well.
- An intriguing mixture of fact, fable and speculation, [Night Beat] offers occult thrills, but fails to find a common thread uniting the weirdos and wastrels that (apparently) throng the labyrinthine streets of night-time Chicago.
- —the Chicago Star's drily ironic review.
With money tight, and chafing again at the limited opportunities of Bloomfield, Lovejoy accepted a job at the Detroit Evening Times in April of 1931. Although now a regular columnist instead of a feature writer, Lovejoy continues to cover the night side of society, prying into the speakeasies, slums and Curtisvilles of the Motor City.
- 28 - Born
- Becomes an ambulance driver in the Great War
- Graduates with a degree in History from Oxford University
- 19 - Incursion
- 23 - Departs for France
Frank Lovejoy Documents
Lovejoy is a staff writer for the Detroit Evening Times. Enclosed is a selection of articles written by him about the Irish Rose Matter.
Correspondence regarding newspaper articles may be addressed to Frank Lovejoy, Box 13, c/o the Detroit Evening Times.
|1931-01-15||F. Huber to M. de Bonnevault||Franz Huber||Unknown|
|1932-01-15||F. Huber to M. de Bonnevault, list of correspondence||Franz Huber||Unknown|
|1932-08-08||Note to F. Lovejoy||Unknown||Box 13|
|1932-08-09||Note to F. Lovejoy||Unknown Crank||Box 13|
|1932-08-09||Note to F. Lovejoy||Unknown||Box 13|
|1932-08-10||H. Flynn to F. Lovejoy, telegram||Heather Flynn||Box 13|
|1932-08-11||D. Ferris to F. Lovejoy, letter||Daphne Ferris||Box 13|
|1932-08-17||D. Rose Darby to F. Lovejoy||Delancy Rose Darby||Box 13|
|1932-08-19||C. de la Fére to F. Lovejoy||Antonio Grimaldi||Box 13|
|1932-08-24||Correspondence between F. Lovejoy and H. Flynn, August 1932||Heather Flynn||Courier Network|
|1932-08-00||Boyar Rulianov to V. Grayson||P. Rulionoff||Courier Network|
|Unknown||H. Flynn to M. de Bonnevault||Heather Flynn||Unknown|
|1930-00-00||Treaty between C. Ellis and F. Christian et al.||Carl Ellis||Meridon Caine|
|1932-08-21||G. Parkhurst to F. Lovejoy||Gregory Parkhurst||Personal Interview|
|1932-09-02||H. Rhyner to F. Lovejoy||Hannelore Rhyner||Personal Interview|