Inducted June 21, 2002
Gene McDavid is the retired general manager of the Houston Chronicle, serving as the metropolitan newspaper’s president from 1990-1998.
He was born into a journalism career. The son of MPA Hall of Fame laureate O.C. McDavid, Gene McDavid began working as a child in the business – sweeping up scattered lead from the floor of his father’s weekly newspaper.
He served the industry as president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, president of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association, president of the Southwest School of Printing Management, vice chairman of the Newspaper Association of America’s newsprint committee and in other assignments.
McDavid literally began his career in the backstop of his father’s newspaper when he was 5 years old. By the time he was 9, McDavid was operating a Linotype machine and doing other jobs at his father’s Perry County Herald in New Augusta.
From 1949-1958, McDavid was owner, editor and publisher of the Wilk Amite Record in Gloster. He sold the newspaper in 1958 and moved to Houston, Texas, where he took a position as Linotype operator for the Chronicle – then one of three daily newspapers competing in America’s fourth largest city. During this time McDavid enrolled in the University of Houston, going to school days and working nights until he earned a B.A. in 1965.
In 1964, he was promoted to assistant production director and later served as production director, vice president of operations, general manager, and on the newspaper’s board of directors.
In 1999, he and his family founded the O.C. McDavid Memorial Fund with the MPA Education Foundation in memory of his late father. The endowment funds an annual conference for Mississippi college journalism students and educators.
He and his wife Betty reside in Houston.