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Murrow In Pullman

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by Luke Baumgarten & r & Though he was born in rural North Carolina, Edward R. Murrow -- who until high school was known as Egbert Roscoe Murrow -- moved with his family to a homestead in Western Washington, near the present-day town of Mount Vernon in the Skagit Valley. From the early on, he was an outspoken child, earning himself the nickname "Eber Blowhard," or, often, simply "Blow."


After high school, where he was a star of the debate team, Murrow attended Washington State College in Pullman (now Washington State University), but not before he spent a year logging Washington's Olympic Peninsula with his father. Once in Pullman, he initially studied business but quickly switched to speech. His communications mentor, Ida Lou Anderson, is said to have given him the half-second pause ("This ... is London") that would become his on-air trademark.


He not only became student body president while at WSC, but president of the National Student Federation of America, which caused quite a stir, seeing as young Egbert served from a little ag school in desolate Eastern Washington. The election came on the heels of his indictment of students' devil-may-care love of "Football, Fraternities and fun" over issues of national import.


He left Washington soon after, and his life gradually became part of the public record. It was those formative years in Skagit County and Pullman, though, that helped shape the man he became.