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DE FONTAINE, Edward

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DE FONTAINE, Edward. (Dubuque, IA, Jan. 8, 1930-Alexandria, VA, Apr. 23, 2002). In 1945 while still in high school, De Fontaine started his radio career at KDTH as an announcer and control room operator. Drafted in to the army in 1951, he was a newsman with The American Forces Network (AFN) in Germany. In 1952 he was assigned to Berlin as a correspondent. In October 1953 after his discharge from the military, De Fontaine remained in Berlin as a civilian correspondent for the AFN. (1)

De Fontaine returned to Dubuque and KDTH briefly in 1954, but then returned to Europe. He was assigned to Paris, France as a correspondent and to Frankfurt, West Germany in 1959 as European Editor and managing editor in charge of AFN news until 1962. (2)

Leaving AFN, De Fontaine joined the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company as its Germany correspondent. As the Foreign News Editor for Westinghouse Broadcasting, De Fontaine covered such stories as the East German uprisings (1953), Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation (1955), and the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon European visits. In 1966 he was transferred to London as the company's Foreign News Editor. (3)

In 1974 De Fontaine was reassigned to the United States and became a founding editor of Associated Press Radio Network in Washington, D.C. (4) He was responsible for building the news gathering service into an estimated eleven hundred-station network in the United States. He was responsible for persuading KDTH to become a member of the APR network. (5)

In 1982 De Fontaine began work with The Voice of America, the international radio network financed by the federal government. He directed and monitored the work of the correspondent staff and developed a system of freelance reporters to supplement the professional staff. He retired as the director of operations. (6)

In his career, De Fontaine received two Overseas Press Club awards, two Peabody awards, and a Foreign Press Club award. (7)

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Source:

1. Tigges, John. They Came From Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1983, p. 20

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Edward J. De Fontaine, Radio Journalist, 72," Obituary. Online: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.obituaries/eca0rWttML4

5. Tigges, John, p. 20

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid., p. 21