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Times Columnist Harry Carr Dies

January 11, 2011 |  4:13 am

  Jan. 11, 1936, Harry Carr  

  Jan. 11, 1936, Harry Carr

The Lancer, 1931Jan. 11, 1936: Harry Carr, longtime columnist of “The Lancer” and one of the best-known writers in the history of The Times, dies of a heart attack at the age of 58. Carr’s death brought an outpouring of tributes and recollections from the business community and in Olvera Street. Carr wrote “Old Mother Mexico”  (1931), “Los Angeles: City of Dreams” (1935) and “Gin Chow’s First Annual Almanac” (1932).

Carr was The Times’ utility reporter on major events and covered the Republican National Convention of 1908 and the Los Angeles premiere of “Madame Butterfly” the same year. He was on the staff when The Times was bombed in 1910, but wrote nothing about it in "Los Angeles: City of Dreams." One of the few details in "Los Angeles" about Gen. Harrison Gray Otis is an incident in which Otis staunchly defended Carr against charges that a story was inaccurate.

Carr also covered boxing. Here’s an excerpt of his coverage of the James Jeffries-Jack Johnson “Battle of the Century.” 

"The 'battle of the century' made me think of nothing so much as the butchery of an old bull.

"When, at the end of the 15th round, old Jeff lay, half through the ropes, smeared with blood, the light all gone out of his eyes, stricken and helpless, I half expected him to give the 'moo' of a dying bull.

"When the moving pictures are shown I think you will see a strange thing -- that Jeffries lay in the exact attitude of the statue ‘The Dying Gladiator,' as he was being counted out, with this addition: The group will have another figure, a tigerish, fierce black giant standing over the bleeding gladiator, his terrible fists waiting.

"I felt sorry for poor, old Jeff, but most of my pity went out to the black man.

"I never before saw any human soul so shaken with fear.

"When the fight began Johnson was so frightened that his face was a deathly, ashen gray. His lips were dry and his eyes were staring with a sort of horrified terror. He seemed utterly friendless.

"Out of that enormous pack of humanity I saw only one face that turned up to him in sympathy. That was the drawn, tragically beautiful face of the white woman who is Johnson's wife."


 “Madame Butterfly” premieres in Los Angeles, 1908

 “The Battle of the Century” on the Daily Mirror, 1910

“Old Mother Mexico” at

  Jan. 11, 1936, Harry Carr  

  Jan. 11, 1936, Harry Carr  

  Jan. 11, 1936, Harry Carr