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Hay, James, Jr.

by Richard Walser, 1988

28 Jan. 1881–7 May 1936

"James Jay, Jr." Photograph. The Bookman 41, no. 1 (March 1915). 12.James Hay, Jr., journalist and novelist, was born in Harrisonburg, Va., one of two sons of James and Constance Tatum Hay. Besides his brother William, he had two half sisters from the second marriage of his father, who was a lawyer and congressman (1897–1917). Following preparatory school at Clay Hill Academy in Virginia, he attended the University of Virginia, graduating in 1903. On 4 May 1904, he married Lindsay Howell Walker.

After a few months with the Washington Post, Hay joined the staff of the Washington Times where his political assignments led to his appointment as White House reporter. A founder and charter member of the National Press Club, he was a friend of presidents William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. For seven years Hay was a free-lance writer of stories and magazine articles. When his health broke in 1917, he was taken to Asheville on a stretcher. There he continued to write and became associate editor of the Asheville Citizen. His second wife, whom he married on 19 July 1922, was Maud Millicent Larrick, a nurse who he always said saved his life. In 1929 Hay returned to Washington, and in 1931–32 he directed magazine publicity for the George Washington Bicentennial Commission.

Most of Hay's ten books are detective stories, of which three have their settings in Asheville: The Winning Clue (1919) is a murder story involving jewel thieves, The Bellamy Case (1925) mixes murder and a political campaign, and The Hidden Woman (1929) combines murder and newspaper reporting. Several of his other detective stories use Washington as their setting.

He had a daughter, Lindsay, by his first marriage. Hay was a Democrat and an Episcopalian. He was buried in the family cemetery in Madison. Va.

References:

Asheville Citizen, 8, 10 May 1936.

Asheville Times, 8 May 1936.

Who's Who in America (1920–21).

Who's Who in the South (1927).

Additional Resources:

"Chronicle and Comment: Prohibition and the Novel." The Bookman 41, no. 1. (March 1915). 11-12. http://books.google.com/books?id=4Y0DAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA12#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Testimony of James Jay, Jr." Hearings Under House Resolution 288. Hearings beginning March 9, 1908-April 30, 1908 vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 1908. 1314-1315. http://books.google.com/books?id=SK8uAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA1314#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed April 16, 2014).

McGrath, Eileen. "James Hay, Jr. The Winning Clue. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1919." Read North Carolina Novels (blog).  North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. October 23, 2009. http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/ncnovels/index.php/2009/10/23/james-hay-jr-the-winning-clue-new-york-dodd-mead-and-co-1919/ (accessed April 16, 2014).

McGrath, Eileen. "James Hay, Jr. The Bellamy Case. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1925." Read North Carolina Novels (blog).  North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. October 6, 2009. http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/ncnovels/index.php/2009/10/06/james-hay-jr-the-bellamy-case-new-york-dodd-mead-and-co-1925/ (accessed April 16, 2014).

Hay, James. The man who forgot: a novel. Doubleday, Page & Company. 1916. http://books.google.com/books?id=IkxAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP7#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed April 16, 2014).

Hay, James. The Melwood Mystery. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. 1920. http://books.google.com/books?id=z6kcAAAAMAAJ&pg=PP9#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed April 16, 2014).

Hay, James, b. 1881. "No clue!" a mystery story by James Hay, Jr. New York : Dodd, Mead and Co. 1920. http://archive.org/details/nocluemysterysto00hayjiala (accessed April 16, 2014).

Hay, James. The Unlighted House: A Novel. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. 1921. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZqocAAAAMAAJ&pg=PP7#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed April 16, 2014).

Image Credits:

"James Jay, Jr." Photograph. The Bookman 41, no. 1 (March 1915). 12. http://books.google.com/books?id=4Y0DAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA12#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed April 16, 2014).

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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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