James Norman will be one of four Texan journalists honored during Tarleton State University’s homecoming festivities this weekend.
Norman was an all-district football and basketball player for Glen Rose High School. He graduated from Glen Rose in 1953 after leading the district in scoring in basketball.
He worked as a reporter for Tarleton’s student newspaper the J-TAC from 1955-1956 and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in 1958.
“I started out majoring in PE and changed my major after about a year at Tarleton,” Norman said.
He worked under Tarleton’s first journalism professor Dr. Stuart Chilton.
“He had me covering military, sports and some features,” Norman said.
At the time, Tarleton was still a two-year college, so he transferred to Sam Houston to complete his degree.
He met his wife Artie there and the two were married in 1958 shortly after he graduated. They will celebrate 50 years together in December.
One of Norman’s first jobs after college was as a sports reporter for the Abilene Reporter-News.
He became the Sports Information Director for Abilene Christian University in 1963.
“I really enjoyed my work at Abilene Christian,” Norman said. “I thought I really had my dream job.”
While with ACU, Norman won a national award for Outstanding Track Brochure in 1966.
He later moved to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1972 and was known as one of the best rodeo reporters in the nation. He won the Lone Star Conference Sports Writer of the Year award in 1974.
Norman said he has seen newspapers progress from doing everything by hand to having it all done by computers and he still enjoys the business.
He retired as a full-time journalist in 1983 and became a rural mail carrier in Parker County were he now lives. He still works as a freelance writer for the Star-Telegram and the Cutting Horse Journal.
“Glen rose was a good place to grow up in. I really had a good time there,” Norman said.
He still has friends and family in the area and says he visits Glen Rose often.
He has two daughters, one son, and five granddaughters between the ages of 7 and 21.
He is planning on being at the Tarleton Homecoming event this weekend where three other former Tarleton journalism students being honored: John Tackett, Roland Lindsey and the late Jerry Flemmons.