For every dime issue of the Oklahoma Eagle he sold, Ed Goodwin Jr. got to keep 5 cents.
“That was the deal. My father gave us a 50 percent cut,” said Jim Goodwin, Ed’s younger brother, who later joined him on the job.
It was good pay for the 1940s, he added, “especially as I think the other carriers only got 3 cents.”
Carrying the Eagle for their dad, who owned the paper, the boys would pile up quite a few nickels between them.
But if journalism wouldn’t always promise such nice returns, it didn’t deter his big brother, Jim added.
By the time Ed was grown, he said, “the news business was in his blood.”
His future was all but set — in type, if not in stone.
Edward Lawrence “Ed” Goodwin Jr., who went on to become a publisher of the Oklahoma Eagle newspaper, died July 25. He was 78.
A service is set for 11 a.m. Friday at Full Gospel Family Outreach Ministries under direction of Jack’s Funeral Home.
The Oklahoma Eagle, which historically has served Tulsa’s black community, traces its origins to the Daily Tulsa Star, founded in 1913.
Edward Goodwin Sr. purchased the paper in 1936 and renamed it the Eagle.
Ed Goodwin Jr. and his younger brothers, Jim and Robert Goodwin, along with their sisters, helped out at the paper when not in school.
Ed and Jim would grow up to join their father full time. Each would serve as editor or publisher at various times, as the paper built a national reputation for its commitment to Tulsa’s black community and the forum it provided for exploring the issues affecting it.
Jim Goodwin, who now owns the paper, said Ed saw his own role as making the paper the best it could be, right down to every last comma.
“He was a great critic of mistakes and was very loyal about calling my attention to them,” Jim said, laughing.
“Especially punctuation and spelling errors. He had no patience for those. It was a big pet peeve.”
Additionally, Jim said, he never met anyone who could read backward print as well as his brother, thanks to his proficiency with the Linotype machines once used to set type.
But above all, he admired Ed’s integrity and objectivity as a journalist, he said.
“For example, if something happened in his own life that was not particularly pleasant, if it was newsworthy he would write it up, in a way that would’ve been very difficult for me to do,” Jim Goodwin said.
Goodwin Jr., who held a journalism degree from Pittsburg State University in Kansas, worked at other newspapers in Tulsa and Kansas City, Missouri, in addition to the Eagle, during his career.
His interest in the Tulsa community extended to civil rights, and he was an active voice in the movement locally in the 1950s and ’60s.
He also was well-known for his efforts toward the preservation and promotion of Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District.
Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson said Goodwin Jr. was a “legend” and an “inspiration” to him.
“Sitting down talking to him was like going to college,” Henderson said. “He was a walking, talking encyclopedia on Greenwood and north Tulsa history. I learned a lot from him — wisdom and insight into the community and what it stood for.”
Goodwin Jr.’s son, Greg Goodwin, now a high school principal in Georgia, said it didn’t matter where the family was going, his dad “always had a camera with him and something to write with at all times. He was a lifelong journalist.”
IPads and other so-called improvements to the trade never caught on with his father, he added. “He was always a pen-and-paper guy.”
Jim Goodwin said his brother never formally retired from journalism; he just “faded away” gradually.
He was still contributing to the Eagle, writing and taking photos, until about three years ago, he said.
Ed Goodwin Jr. was preceded in death by one son, Eric; and three sisters.
Survivors include his wife, Johnnie Mae Goodwin; three children, Greg, Sabrina and Regina; two brothers, Jim and Robert Goodwin; three sisters, Jo Ann Guilford, Jeanne Arradondo and Susan Jordan; and five grandchildren.