More About the Author
Vance H. Trimble was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1960 in recognition of his exposé of nepotism and payroll abuse in the U.S. Congress. For this work, Trimble also was awarded the other two top prizes for "distinguished Washington correspondence," the Raymond Clapper and the Sigma Delta Chi, honoring him as a rarity in American journalism-- "a Triple Crown winner."
Born in Arkansas in 1913, Vance Trimble grew up in Oklahoma where at age 14 he became a cub reporter: on The Okemah Daily Leader. He went on to reporting and desk work on daily newspapers in Wewoka, Seminole, Muskogee, Okmulgee, and Tulsa.
During the Depression, Trimble freelanced as a typewriter\adding machine repairman, traveling the South for a year in a rusty $35 1926 Chevy.
Fired from The Tulsa Tribune for joining a writers union, Trimble went to Texas, where he worked on newspapers in Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Houston. In World War II, Trimble was a Signal Corps staff sergeant, and edited the Army newspaper at Camp Beale, California.
In 1955, Trimble was promoted from managing editor of The Houston Press to news editor of the Scripps-Howard national bureau in Washington, D.C.
"I grew a little restless by my desk job," says Trimble. "In Houston, I was under deadline pressure, working fast. My new job seemed to slow. So in my spare time, I began roaming Capitol Hill."
Soon his digging unearthed scandalous nepotism and payroll shenanigans in Congressional offices. The Scripps-Howard news wire planted his daily stories on page ones from New York to San Francisco. These exclusives continued for six months. TIME magazine admiringly profiled him as "The Digger on Capitol Hill." The cheating revelations outraged the public. Because of this grass roots outcry, the U. S. Senate, for the first time in 31 years, voted to relax its secrecy on office payrolls. In its page 1 headline, The Washington Daily News hailed this as "A Victory for the Taxpayers and Vance Trimble."
From the nation's capital, Vance Trimble became editor of daily newspapers in El Paso and Covington, Kentucky. He was editor of the Kentucky Post for 17 years.
Trimble is author of 13 hardcover books, the first being a history of the use of hyperbaric medicine. Others include biographies of Sam Walton, FedEx founder Fred Smith, publisher E.W. Scripps, baseball commissioner "Happy" Chandler, entrepreneur Chris Whittle, and chiefs of the Oklahoma Seminole and Choctaw Indian tribes. He has written 69 published true detective mysteries and many other magazine articles. "And a few million words of newspaper copy," Trimble says.
In 1974 Trimble was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. His papers are in the Western History Collections at the University of Oklahoma, and at Ohio University.
When his wife of 67 years, Elzene Miller Trimble, died in 1999, Trimble retired to Wewoka, Oklahoma, where she is buried beside her mother. Their only child, Carol Ann Nordeheimer, is a business consultant in Wilmington, Delaware.