columnist, Detroit Free Press
For 30 years, the “Old Curmudgeon” graced the back page of the Detroit Free Press, offering his readers the spirit of life in Michigan from a neighbor’s perspective. Born in Kentucky in 1911, Judd Arnett began his journalism career at age 12 at a weekly newspaper in rural Kentucky, keeping a secret ambition to someday become a country editor and publisher. Arnett worked in Toledo as a dock worker until 1933, when he landed a job at the Henry County Reviewin Holgate, Ohio. In 1934, Arnett moved to the Northwest-Newsin Napoleon, Ohio, as a city and sports editor, columnist, editorial writer, all-beats reporter and part-time printer. Arnett returned to the newspaper business after serving in the Navy in World War II. He purchased first The Chronicle in Sherwood, Ohio, and then The Review in Tuscola, Illinois, both weekly publications. In late 1956, Arnett sold his newspapers and joined the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times as a bureau chief, writing seven columns a week. He also spent a short time at theMorning News in Savannah, Georgia. In 1959, Arnett joined theDetroit Free Press as a columnist. Traveling extensively in America and throughout the world, he brought back thought-provoking wit to Michigan readers until his semi-retirement in 1990. He died in 1997, leaving an indelible impression on his readers and colleagues.