By Kent Larsen
Former Editor, Author John R. Talmage Dead at 90
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- John Russell Talmage, former editor of the Deseret
News and the last living child of Apostle James E. Talmage died October 4th.
The younger Talmage was trained in Journalism and spent his life writing and
reporting at the Deseret News, in the U.S. Navy, in politics and as a
research writer. He was 90.
Talmage was born February 1, 1911 in Salt Lake City to Elder Talmage and
Merry May Booth Talmage. Later that same year (December 7) his father was
called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and while John was a youth, his
father was called to preside over the Church's European mission, giving
young John an education for three years in Liverpool, England.
John R. Talmage served a three-year LDS mission himself in France,
Switzerland and Belgium, and following his mission took a bicycle trip to
Italy that provided him with stories for the rest of his life. Returning to
Utah, John attended both BYU and the University of Utah, graduating in
Journalism from the latter. He then went to work for the Deseret News as a
His career there was interrupted by World War II, where he served in the
U.S. Navy writing the manual for Reciprocal Aid between the Allies and
traveling throughout Europe and Africa. Discharged as a Captain, he went
back to work for the Deseret News, where he did everything from writing
obituaries to sports to editor. He was the News' city editor, its Church
News editor, its wire editor and a columnist. He was eventually managing
editor of the News.
John went on to work in politics as an administrative assistant to Utah
Governor George D. Clyde. After retiring, he both wrote a book about his
father, "The Talmage Story" (1972), and worked as a research writer for the
Utah Foundation, a non-partisan public policy research foundation, until
just five years ago.
His family remembers him as having a wonderful sense of humor and a love of
all sports and animals. He married the former Mary Merrell Jones in 1935
and, following her death in 1944, Virinia Graves Noehren, who passed away in
1981.With her he had five children.
Ex-Deseret News editor John R. Talmage dies
Deseret News 8Oct01 P2
John Russell Talmage
Salt Lake Tribune 7Oct01 P2