Doug Ward and the Daily Worker

Here are a couple scans from the last issue of the Daily Worker that Doug wrote for, including his final article. October 31st, 1957. The article is reposted below these images. Doug was writing these articles under his real name Roosevelt Ward Jr.

The Pitch

By Roosevelt Ward Jr.

Over the past year during the approximate existence of “The Pitch” in this space you have heard many moans, bleats and plain old unadulterated complaints about how difficult some of these columns have been to write…Well, today I can state unequivocally that the present offering is by far the hardest, most difficult and most painful of all to get down on paper…Because it happens to be my last one.

 

There is no need to outline the difficulties of this paper in its fight for survival…You are well aware of its financial straits, the four page reduction, staff cuts and other retrenchment measures…These are the obvious, stone cold facts of life which can’t be avoided. In view of this situation and faced with conflicting aims and interests of my own, I am leaving voluntary.

 

A few words in summing up.

Before taking leave I wish to declare proudly and sincerely that my more than two years’ association with The Daily Worker has been greatly rewarding…In a way I feel guilty because it is my honest opinion that I have benefited more than I have contributed…Coming to this paper as a green-as- grass beginner, I whether the rich technical and professional experience could have been duplicated elsewhere…My relationship with the humane, highly skilled members of this staff have been warm, happy, enriching and enlightening experiences.

 

As for my tour of the journalistic beat, especially sports row – I never had it so good…A ringside seat at the championship fights…a press box view of the baseball and basketball scene, including World Series and tournament title playoffs…dressing room chats with champions, winners and losers alike…the good spirits and helpfulness encountered among fellow scribes…Well…What could be better?…Honestly, many times I felt like paying for the opportunity.

 

To all you bedraggled readers I feel I owe something in the nature of an apology…To all of you who suffered through a lot of banal, superficially conceived , sometimes facetiously written offerings in this space and also type marred, syntax fractured, misspelled, headachy copy which saw the light of print – I humbly apologize and refuse to dredge up any excuses.

 

The Reporters beat and sports chair have not been the place to offer opinions on the many controversial issues argued in this paper in the tumultuous months of the past…However, in departing, I take this opportunity to say a few brief words…respecting any differences or disagreements of yourselves.

 

Without reservations I am proud to have been associated with this paper in its fight around the important issues affecting our country and its citizens. The fight for the rights of the Negro citizens of this land, my people; the struggle for Labor and working people’s rights; the untiring efforts for world peace and coexistence of our nation with the rest of mankind; the fight to restore civil liberties from the ravages of McCarthyism and Eastlandism; and a thousand other national and local issues facing the people.

 

I’m proud to have been associated with this paper during the days when it first sought new definitions, redefined positions and a more humane and independent path toward the goal of democratic socialism…I am proud to have been aligned with those of its editors who repudiated much of the tarnish placed on socialist ideals by the heritage of Salinism and dogmatism… I am proud it took positions on international developments as it saw them, no matter how right many think those positions might have been…I am proud of its role in championing the fight against dogmatism in the area of political action and theoretical ideas.

 

The question of democratic socialism first and foremost in this country and in the world at large, is much more complex than I thought in my younger years…In this country, as I see it, it goes far beyond any specific party or any group or theorist…No one holds a monopoly on being creative or correct…But I am proud of this paper’s role in unlocking some of the doors.

 

I offer this summation with the knowledge that I’m the last to make any claims of political acumen – politics just happens not to be my beat – but the issues at stake are crucial to the future of our nation and the world.

 

I would like to repeat that my leaving the staff comes solely and completely at my own volition.

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