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Baldwin, Ben H. (Benjamin Harrison), 1919-2005



  • Existence: 1919 - 2005


Benjamin Harrison Baldwin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois on March 1, 1919, the son of Benjamin H. and Ella Conley Baldwin. He received a B.Ed. from Southern Illinois University (1940) and an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University (1946). Baldwin joined Northwestern University's faculty in 1956, where he remained until his retirement in 1984. He died in 2005.

After receiving his graduate degree, Baldwin worked as a sports writer, a news editor, and an assistant director for news at the Mutual Broadcasting System in New York (stations WOR and WOR-TV) and as a news editor for station WGN in Chicago.

In 1956 Northwestern University appointed Baldwin Associate Professor of Journalism. He was promoted to professor in 1966 and, that same year, he became Chairman of the School's Editorial Department. From 1958 to 1967 Baldwin directed the journalism section of the University's National High School Institute. Among Baldwin's major contributions to the Medill School were his curricular innovations, particularly the development of the Journalism D15 and D95 courses first taught in 1967. The former was a seminar on science and technology, designed to provide students with a historical and philosophical background as well as a basic knowledge of scientific and technological problems and applications. The latter, a lecture course, was designed to train students in the practical elements of science and technology news reporting and writing. Baldwin pioneered in this field and the success of his courses became widely known.

While his writings appeared primarily in newspapers and magazines, Baldwin did collaborate on two booklets published for use in Illinois high schools: Teaching About Smoking and Health, and Teaching About Beverage Alcohol.

Baldwin retired from the Northwestern University faculty in June 1984, and moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina. In July 1984, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded him its Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award.

Baldwin and Jeanne Helen Holliger were married on June 25, 1955. They have two children: Mark Frederick and Claudia Eloise.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Benjamin H. Baldwin (1919-2005) Papers

Identifier: 16/5

The Benjamin Baldwin Papers, spanning the period 1956 to 1984, are arranged in two subseries: correspondence, and teaching files. These are Baldwin's personal papers, documenting his career as a teacher at Northwestern University. Records relating to his involvement in the journalism section of the National High School Institute as well as the administrative records of the Medill School's Editorial Department have been separated and treated as distinct collections.

Dates: 1956-1984