Memorable Manitobans: Eugene Louis “Gene” Telpner (1920-2005)
Journalist, community activist.
Born at Omaha, Nebraska on 1 June 1920, he grew up at Council Bluffs, Iowa. He studied journalism at the University of Nebraska then became a feature writer at the Omaha World Herald. During the Second World War, he served in the US Air Force and flew missions over Europe, being shot down over Brunswick, Germany and spending 13 months in a German prisoner-of-war camp. He received the Purple Heart and the Order of the Caterpillar.
After returning from military service, he spent a few more years at Omaha until moving to Winnipeg where he became a journalist with the Winnipeg Free Press, spending 14 years there. He was then entertainment editor at the Winnipeg Tribune for 13 years. When that paper closed, he became Associate Editor and feature writer at the Winnipeg Sun. He also worked as a writer, host, commentator, and panelist on television.
On 13 November 1945, he married Fritzi Shuckett (1921-2020) and they had three children. Active in the Winnipeg media community, he served as President of the Winnipeg Press Club (1963) and also served as President of the Canadian Sports Writers Association, American Ex-Prisoners of War, and Canadian Press Bowling Association. He was Deputy Governor of Toastmasters International and Honorary Ringmaster of the Shrine Circus. He served as a Director on the Boards of the Manitoba Heart Foundation, Rheumatism and Arthritis Society, Canada Centennial, CJOB Shut-Ins Fund, Victorian Order of Nurses, and Manitoba Film Classification Board.
In recognition of his community service, he received the City of Winnipeg Humanitarian Award, City of Winnipeg Community Service Award, and Variety Club International Presidential Citation. He was inducted into the Variety Club Hall of Fame, Abraham Lincoln High School Hall of Fame, and Bowling Hall of Fame of Manitoba.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 2005.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 June 2020
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