Earl English testified extensively before numerous Senate committees in the 1950s and ‘60s on the need for FOIA. He vigorously pushed the Missouri congressional delegation, particularly Sen. Edward Long, to pass the necessary legislation.
English was named by former American Society of Newspaper Editors President James Pope in 1978 as one of the four leaders – along with Rep. John Moss, Harold Cross and Paul Fisher – whose contributions were crucial to the development of the freedom of information movement.
A strong believer in the importance of journalism education, English became dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Finding it natural that a journalism educator would take special interest in the fight for access to government records, he founded the university’s Freedom of Information Center in 1958. What, he asked, was the point of training reporters to look for information, if the information itself were not made available
Earl English died in 2000.
Charter member of the Hall of Fame.