Bob Harrod, Former Enquirer City Editor
Born Robert King Harrod on January 2, 1921, Springfield OH, to Allan Carr Harrod and Esco Florence Laws, and died April 25, 2016, The Villages FLA. He was a graduate of Lima Central High School (Lima, OH), where he was a three-sport letter winner in football, swimming and track. In 1941 he graduated with a degree in Business from Miami University, where he lettered in football and swimming and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and the university’s glee club. During his senior year in college he enlisted in the US Navy in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the South Pacific as an officer with the rank of Ensign responsible for leading a bomb disposal unit.
In 1944 he married the love of his life, Bette Curtis, a Stephens College graduate from Fort Madison IA, whom he had met at a USO dance in Washington, D.C. They would have three children.
Upon his honorable discharge from the military he and a fraternity brother opened an insurance business in Lima OH. Soon to learn that it wasn’t for him, he took a position as a reporter for the Lima News, finding his true calling and beginning a long and distinguished career as a journalist. One memorable assignment while with the Lima News was when he was asked to investigate the pollution of the town’s numerous open-air dumps. The paper devoted a series to the expose, featuring his stories along with photos of him at various dump sites wearing a gas mask as the character “Stan Stench.”
In 1957 he became the Editor of a small town Ohio newspaper, the Circleville Herald. After four Pumpkin Shows, in 1961 he accepted a position as State and Suburban Editor for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A year later he was named City Editor, a position he held throughout the Sixties. During his time on the City desk, he directed the Enquirer’s extensive reporting of the Beverly Hills Supper club tragedy and Cincinnati’s racial disturbances. He and reporter Allen Howard would walk the streets of riot-torn Avondale together in the summer of 1968. He concluded his tenure with the Enquirer on the Entertainment desk and wrote the lead editorial that appeared on the date of the opening of Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium in 1970. He led with, “It’s awesome.” He was the manager of one of the two Enquirer teams of staff that played the final baseball game at Crosley Field. While at the Enquirer he organized a national association for city editors and was elected its first president. In 1973 he took an editor’s position with The Indianapolis News where he retired from a decade later.
In 1985 he and Bette retired to North Fort Myers FLA where for the next twenty years they enjoyed playing golf, a lifelong passion, socializing with friends, and entertaining visiting family. He served a term as president of the Lake Fairways Homeowner’s Association and was an active member of the residents glee club.
To be closer to family, Bob and Bette returned to Indianapolis in 2005. A year later they moved to Tulsa, and in 2013 he moved to The Villages FLA. For the past decade of his life he was under the loving care of his devoted daughter Becky and son-in-law Calvin.
Bob had a passion for music of all kinds and loved to play his homemade gut bucket, occasionally sitting in on jam sessions with professional musicians. For years he and Bette enjoyed attending the concerts of son Matt who would become a musician and middle school band director. “Dad also loved to dance with Mom and they were fun to watch,” remembered daughter Becky Warren. Among his many and varied interests, Bob was a talented artist and carved detailed birds and character figures from blocks of wood. He was an avid reader, often consuming a couple of books a week. A sports enthusiast, he followed Ohio State football and his beloved Cincinnati Bengals.
Preceding him in death was his wife of 62 years Helen Elizabeth Curtis. He was the loving father of three children: Robert “Chip” (and Teresa) Harrod of Cincinnati, Rebecca (and Calvin) Warren of The Villages FLA; and Matthew (and Ellen) Harrod of Indianapolis. He is survived by a brother Donald R. (and Helen) Harrod of Akron OH and a cousin William (and Ann) Harrod of Cincinnati. He leaves behind five grandchildren: Amy (and Scott) Rubenstein of Cincinnati, Joanna (and James) Amendola of Lakewood OH, Allison (and Nick) Neumeister of Brunswick OH, Elliot Harrod of Indianapolis, and Emma Harrod of Indianapolis. He is survived by seven great grandchildren: Lilly, Phoebe and Maggie Rubenstein of Cincinnati; Bobby and Henry Amendola of Lakewood OH; and Will and Lila Neumeister of Brunswick OH.
Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. The family welcomes memorial donations to the charity of your choice.