Thomas, Lowell

Thomas, Lowell (Jackson)

(1892–1981) news commentator, author; born in Woodington, Ohio. After earning two M.A.s (University of Denver and Princeton), and working as a reporter and teacher, he took a trip to Alaska (1915). His resultant travelogue led President Woodrow Wilson to commission him to film and record ongoing World War I events; this led to his contacts with Colonel T. E. Lawrence in the Middle East and eventually to his best-selling book, With Lawrence in Arabia (1924). Immediately after the war he began a career as a lecturer and as a world traveler; his encircling the entire globe by airplane during 1926–27 was one of the first promotions of the potential of aviation. From 1930–76 he was a radio newscaster, but he managed to travel to exotic places around the world, narrate Movietone newsreels (1935–52) and travelogues for Twentieth Century-Fox, and write numerous books. He broadcast from many combat zones during World War II and in 1949 he was invited to Tibet by the Dalai Lama. He profiled outstanding historical figures on Public Broadcasting System's Lowell Thomas Remembers (1976–79) and published a two-part autobiography, Good Evening Everybody (1977) and So Long Until Tomorrow (1978).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.