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Curtis MacDougall

Curtis MacDougall (MSJ26) died in 1985. He was a legendary figure in journalism education. "Dr. Mac," as he was known to his students, was a Medill faculty member for 29 years. After his retirement in 1971, Northwestern named MacDougall professor emeritus of journalism.

In addition to teaching, MacDougall was the author of a dozen books, a candidate for political office and head of the Depression-era Illinois Writers Project. He also taught journalism at Lehigh University and then earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin in 1933.

From 1939 to 1942 MacDougall served as state supervisor of the Illinois Writers Project, which provided income to indigent writers, including Studs Terkel, Saul Bellow, Nelson Algren, Willard Motley and Arthur Weinberg. When the Writers Project ended in 1942, MacDougall joined the Medill faculty.

He ran for political office three times. He lost a 1944 race for Congress as a Democrat in the strongly Republican 10th district. Four years later he campaigned unsuccessfully as the Progressive Party candidate against U.S. Senator Paul Douglas. In 1979, he made another run for Congress but failed to win the Democratic primary.

MacDougall's best known book, "Interpretative Reporting," was first published in 1932 and had eight editions printed.

MacDougall received his bachelor's degree from Ripon College.