Ninety years ago today, in Salt Lake City, Utah, a boy was born to William and Edna Irvine. That boy was my father, Reed Irvine, the founder and first chairman of Accuracy in Media.
My father grew up poor, as many did at that time, but thanks to his mother he had an almost insatiable appetite for reading and a thirst for knowledge. After two years of high school, he went on to attend the University of Utah where he was not only elected to Phi Beta Kappa, but also wrestled and was given the nickname “Killer,” which would epitomize his instincts towards the liberal media later in his adult life.
He enlisted in the Navy during WW II and was selected for a crash program to learn Japanese, leaving as an interpreter/translator with the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the 2nd Marine Division as an intelligence officer and participated in the campaigns of Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa.
That led him to meet my mother, who survived the A-bomb on Nagasaki, and they were married on August 14, 1947.
After returning to the U.S., he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Oxford University, earning a Bachelors of Literature degree in economics in 1951.
My mother would often refer to those years in England as her toughest, as she was still struggling with learning English and was now faced with British English. To this day she still can’t understand the British.
After graduating from Oxford, my parents returned to the U.S. where my father proceeded to spend the next 26 years with the Federal Reserve as an economist in the Far East Section of the Division of International Finance.
Through that post he became acquainted with many officials of the Bank of Japan and the Bank of Korea, and built friendships that lasted a lifetime.
I still recall accompanying him on a trip with my mother to Japan during the summer of 1970. That was also the year the World’s Fair, known as Expo ’70 was being held in Osaka. We traveled throughout Japan by limo, and I was able to use the VIP entrance at the Expo, causing me to ask my father who the VIP was that got us all these perks. He replied, modestly, that he was the VIP. I was suitably impressed.
That was also just a year after he made the bold move to start Accuracy in Media with the idea of taking on the liberal media, which was badly misreporting the Vietnam War. He started a newsletter, the AIM Report in 1972, working on it at night and weekends until he finally retired from the Fed in 1977 and was able to devote all of his time and energy to AIM.
He was a husband, father, grandfather and patriot who loved his country and spent the last 35 years of his life fighting the liberal media on the battlefield for truth and justice.
Many conservative leaders today have told me, and I certainly agree, that my father is owed a great debt of gratitude. At a time when there were few conservative organizations in existence, he had the courage to take on the liberal media establishment. He influenced many of today’s conservative leaders and paved the way in many respects for other conservative organizations. He was an unsung pioneer and hero, but I think he was fine with that.
Happy Birthday dad, I miss you and wish you were here.