December 1995

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Henry W. Clune

1890 - 1995


Robert G. Koch

Henry W. Clune was born on February 8, 1890, in Rochester, New York, and died on October 8, 1995, in his home in nearby Scottsville. He began as an unpaid sub-reporter in 1910 but soon proved himself as a newspaperman and columnist. Some 7500 of his Seen & Heard columns appeared regularly in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle until 1969. He wrote for the Stars and Stripes during World War I and had brief stints as a newspaperman in New York and Detroit and as an editor of a society publication in Rochester. In 1921 he married Charlotte Boyle, a world-class championship swimmer. She died in 1990. Their four sons are George, Peter, Bill and Barry.

His first book was a Seen & Heard collection in 1933, followed by another in 1935. Shortly after he published his first novel, The Good Die Poor. It was followed by another, Monkey on A Stick, and a memoir, Main Street Beat. After World War II, he published two long novels, By His Own Hand and The Big Fella, and another, Six O'Clock Casual. In 1964 The Genesee appeared in the Rivers of America series and another compilation, The Best of Henry W. Clune was published. Then came a comic novel, O'Shaughnessy's Cafe, and two memoirs, The Rochester I Know and I Always Liked It Here. In 1989 The Genesee was reissued and the following year Souvenir and Other Stories appeared. His books received favorable reviews and some had international sales and were optioned for movies, although none was finally used.

During his post-100 years his pungent letters and opinion pieces continued to show up in the Democrat & Chronicle, and he was interviewed on a variety of subjects by researchers and television documentary makers. He enjoyed seeing his many friends, carrying on considerable correspondence and keeping a journal until days before his death.

© 1995, Robert G. Koch
Subreporter Clune Rises to the Challenge by Robert Koch
Henry and Louise in the Lair de Clune by Bill Kauffman
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