Reynolds v. Pegler
"Reynolds v. Pegler", 223 F. 2d 429 (1955), was a landmark
libeldecision in which Quentin Reynoldssuccessfully sued right-wing columnist Westbrook Pegler, resulting in a record judgement of $175,001.
The case has its origins in a heated dispute between liberal journalist
Heywood Brounand conservative Westbrook Pegler. Broun died in 1939, but ten years later, author Dale Kramer wrote a book about Broun's life entitled "The Heywood Broun His Friends Recall".
Quentin Reynolds wrote a review of this book for the
New York Herald Tribunebook review which was published November 20, 1949. In the book review, Reynolds wrote that in 1939, Pegler had called Broun a liar. Reynolds further wrote that Broun was so distraught over this allegedly false charge that he was unable to sleep or relax, and that as a result, Broun, who was suffering only a cold, died.
The review infuriated Pegler, who regarded the review as a charge of "moral homicide". Pegler lashed out in a response entitled "On Heywood Broun and Quentin Reynolds" in the
Hearst Corporationpaper New York Journal American. Pegler reiterated his belief that Broun was indeed a "notorious liar" who was a "dirty fighter" that "made his living at controversy". Pegler also dismissed any suggestion that he had been responsible for Broun's death.
However, Pegler did not stop at denouncing the late Broun. Pegler went on to personally attack Reynolds, asserting that "Reynolds and his girl friend of the moment were nuding along the public road"; that "as Reynolds was riding to Heywood's grave with her, he proposed marriage to the widow". Pegler accused Reynolds of being "one of the great individual profiteers of the war" and claimed Reynolds had been involved in fraud involving war contracts. Pegler also accused Reynolds of cowardice, and said he had been exposed by people who had "peeled him of his mangy hide and nailed it to the barn door with the yellow streak glaring for the world to see".
In response to the article, Reynolds sued both Pegler and his publisher, the Hearst Corporation, for libel. The jury awarded Reynolds $1 in compensatory damages and $175,000 in punitive damages. At the time, it was the largest libel judgment ever.
"Reynolds v. Pegler" inspired the 1953 Broadway play "A Case of Libel" by Henry Denker, which was itself later adapted into two tv movies. The case was also detailed in a 1962 book by Reynold's attorney
Louis Nizerentitled "My Life in Court".
* Louis Nizer. "My Life in Court". (ISBN 1-56849-145-X)
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0204189/ A Case of Libel (1968)] at IMDB
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087037/ A Case of Libel (1983)] at IMDB
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pegler, Westbrook — ▪ American columnist in full James Westbrook Pegler born , August 2, 1894, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. died June 24, 1969, Tucson, Arizona American columnist whose continual crusades, combined with an acerbic, original style, attracted… … Universalium
Quentin Reynolds — Quentin James Reynolds (born April 11 1902, New York City – died March 17 1965, San Francisco, California) was a journalist and World War II war correspondent.As associate editor at Collier s Weekly from 1933 to 1945, Reynolds averaged twenty… … Wikipedia
Westbrook Pegler — Francis James Westbrook Pegler (August 2, 1894 – June 24, 1969) [http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi bin/igm.cgi?op=GET db=peglers id=I06160] was an American journalist and writer. Known early in his career as a fierce opponent of both… … Wikipedia
Doug Collins (journalist) — Doug Collins (September 8, 1920 – September 29, 2001) was a British born Canadian journalist, known for his editorials in a small community paper in British Columbia, Canada. He was also a figure of Canada s far right and a Holocaust denier.… … Wikipedia
WEINFELD, EDWARD — (1901–1988), U.S. federal judge. Born in New York City and raised on Manhattan s Lower East Side, Weinfeld attended law school at night while working at various jobs. He received his LL.B. degree in 1921 and his LL.M. in 1922, both from New York… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Warrior (Osprey) — Warrior ... Pays Royaume Uni Langue Anglais Genre Histoire militaire … Wikipédia en Français
New Year Honours 2006 — The New Year Honours 2006 for the Commonwealth Realms were announced on 31 December, 2005, to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 2006.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and… … Wikipedia
Liste Des Abréviations D'auteur En Taxinomie Végétale — Cette liste ne doit pas être modifiée. Attention, si vous souhaitez ajouter une nouvelle entrée, faites le sur cette autre page à partir de laquelle cette liste est mise à jour automatiquement. Cette liste est triée par ordre alphabétique… … Wikipédia en Français
Liste Des Abréviations D'auteur En Taxinomie Végétale/Liste Classée Par Patronyme — Cette liste ne doit pas être modifiée. Attention, si vous souhaitez ajouter une nouvelle entrée, cliquez ici. Cette liste est triée par ordre alphabétique des patronymes. Vous pouvez consulter la même liste classée par ordre alphabétique… … Wikipédia en Français
Liste des abréviations botaniques — Liste des abréviations d auteur en taxinomie végétale Cette liste ne doit pas être modifiée. Attention, si vous souhaitez ajouter une nouvelle entrée, faites le sur cette autre page à partir de laquelle cette liste est mise à jour… … Wikipédia en Français