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MCALEECE, Gerald "Red"

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
MCALEECE, Gerald "Red." (Dubuque, IA--Kenora, Canada, Sept. 14,1984). McAleece was the sports director at KDTH from 1942 to 1979. Beginning in 1946 he established and broadcast the popular "Trading Post" over which he advertised an estimated three hundred thousand items.

McAleece graduated from DUBUQUE HIGH SCHOOL where he played varsity football, basketball, and baseball. He was a star baseball pitcher at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE and Northwestern University. Upon graduation, he organized many area baseball tournaments including a very successful one played during Dubuque's centennial in 1933.

Prior to his RADIO career, McAleece taught. As a student at AUDUBON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, he had been impressed by the B. J. HORCHEM. McAleece was employed in 1931 by the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT as a teacher of physical education and health at WASHINGTON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL. He remained there four years before being transferred to DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL as an instructor of business law, economics, government as well as being a director of guidance, supervisor of athletics and physical education and head basketball coach. The six teams he coached between 1936 and 1949 had an overall record of .500.

During this time he coached and played with the Blackhawks independent basketball team. He was also a coach for the Koolmotors baseball team. At Dubuque Senior, McAleece began as the head coach of the sophomore basketball team. He served as head basketball coach at Dubuque Senior from 1936 to 1942 and established the Dubuque public schools' first physical education program.

McAlleece resigned from Senior in 1948 to begin work as a salesman and sportscaster at KDTH. In 1949 he was appointed to the Dubuque Recreation Commission and served as chairman from 1960 to 1969. In November, 1979 the commission honored his contributions by naming the riverfront softball fields as the "Gerald W. McAleece Recreation Area."

Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
One of three people inducted by 1985 in the Iowa Sportscaster Association Hall of Fame, McAleece helped pioneer live sports coverage. In the days before elaborate press facilities, he often stood on a concession stand or automobile for a better view of the playing field. McAleece continued play-by-play broadcasts of football games of the Iowa Hawkeyes until he was seventy and sold radio advertising until he was seventy-three.

McAleece received many forms of recognition. In 1956 he was named Conservationist of the Year by the Dubuque County Conservation Society. That was the year he worked to win voter approval for the formation of the Dubuque County Conservation Board. He received the second Conservationist of the Year Award from the Dubuque County Conservation Society two years later. In 1963 he was awarded the Man Behind the Boy trophy from the DUBUQUE BOYS' CLUB and the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Dubuque Board of Realtors. In 1971 McAleece was the recipient of the "Moco" Mercer Award from the JAYCEES. This was followed the next year when the city named MCALEECE SPORTS COMPLEX in his honor. In 1972 McAleece was named recipient of the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD and he received the Service to Mankind Award from the Sertoma Club. He was elected to the Sportscasters' Hall of Fame in 1975 and the DUBUQUE SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME in 1976.

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Source:

"He's the Lovable, Affable Gerald "Red" McAleece," Telegraph-Herald, December 28, 1972, p. 21