of Penn Jones, Jr.
William Penn Jones, the son of sharecroppers, was born in Annona, Texas, on 15th October, 1914. He was a hobo during the Great Depression and then worked his way through the University of Texas at Austin by working in various unskilled occupations.
In 1946 Jones purchased the local newspaper, Midlothian Mirror. Jones campaigned for increased spending on black schools. His liberal opinions caused controversy and his attacks on the John Birch Society resulted in his office being firebombed. He was later the recipient of the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism.
In 1963 Jones became involved in investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A fellow researcher, Gary Mack, later explained: "Penn was one of the first generation of researchers who felt the government was behind the assassination - probably a conspiracy involving military intelligence... He always thought LBJ was behind it somehow." He was also the author of several books on the assassination: Forgive My Grief I (1966), Forgive My Grief II (1967), Forgive My Grief III (1974), and Forgive My Grief IV (1976).
Jones sold the Midlothian Mirror in 1974. However, he continued to publish the newsletter, The Continuing Inquiry. Every year, on the anniversary of the assassination, Jones held a memorial service at Dealey Plaza.
In 1995 the Coalition on Political Assassinations presented Jones, Harold Weisberg, Josiah Thompson and Mary Ferrell with the Sylvia Meagher Lifetime Achievement Award in honour of their ground breaking and persistent work in pursuit of the truth.
William Penn Jones died in a nursing home in Alvarado, Texas, on 25th January, 1998.