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D Magazine Turns 50 This Year, So We’re Sharing Our 50 Greatest Stories

The first is Blackie Sherrod's 1975 piece on his friend, the scoundrel reporter Jack Proctor. Meet "A Legend in His Own Mind."
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Fifty years after our first issue, we now produce our magazines way up there.

This year, D Magazine turns 50. As city magazines began printing in New York and elsewhere in the 1970s, Wick Allison and Jim Atkinson saw a similar opportunity here in Dallas. We published our first issue in 1974, and, while we’ve grown over those years, we’re still your local, family-owned city magazine. Christine and Gillea Allison are now at the top of the masthead, carrying on Wick’s legacy, after he died in 2020. That we are still here, still publishing 12 issues a year—along with a robust daily website, business and home magazines, and a custom publishing division—is no small achievement given the volatility of print journalism.

To celebrate, we will republish 50 of our greatest stories, one per week, throughout 2024. We’ve launched a Saturday morning email newsletter that will land in your inbox with each week’s highlighted story. Here is how to sign up for that email. (You can also subscribe to the magazine here.) And every issue for the rest of the year will include a reprint of one of our best stories. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the work that has propelled us through these past five decades.

The first story we’re featuring comes from the October 1975 issue, exactly a year after our first issue.

A century ago, Dallas was a four-newspaper town. And when there are four newspapers in your town, it’s a lot more likely that one of those newspapers would harbor a scoundrel like the reporter Jack Proctor.

Proctor worked for the Dallas Dispatch, a competitor with the crime chroniclers at the Journal, the Times-Herald, and the Morning News. Two of those papers survived into modern Dallas history. Only one remains. Maybe don’t hold it against Jack that, seeking to create some news to cover, he once started a fire near the newsroom that blew up three cars. Or that he likely made up a lot of stuff.

At the very least, his imagination ran rampant. There was the time he met with Clyde Barrow outside of San Antonio and filed a story about his conversation. The only problem: Barrow was killing a highway patrolman at the same time he was supposedly talking to Proctor. Oops.

The legendary reporter and editor Blackie Sherrod remembered his colorful old friend in the pages of D Magazine in 1975. Sherrod’s story captures Dallas at a very different time, and it’s as much about our city as it is about Proctor—and why someone like him fit so perfectly here. “A Legend in His Own Mind” is one of the 50 greatest stories we’ve published in our 50 years, and we’re highlighting it again today.

Stick with us throughout 2024. We have a lot to share with you.

Author

Matt Goodman

Matt Goodman

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Matt Goodman is the online editorial director for D Magazine. He's written about a surgeon who killed, a man who…
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