Quin Ryan Broadcast the Scopes Trial on Radio

Photo of Quin Ryan, the WGN radio station manager who made radio history broadcasting the Scopes monkey trial, taken in 1928
WGN broadcaster Quin Ryan

Quin A. Ryan, manager of WGN Chicago. has had a colorful career including such vicissitudes as reporter, actor, sports correspondent, magazine editor, advertising man, syndicate humorist, columnist, feature announcer and station manager.

Born in Chicago. Nov. 17, 1898, he divided his education between Loyola Academy. Northwestern University and the Old Essanay film studios. with early interest fixed in writing and acting.

While in college he became sports correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, and following his graduation came into the local room of that paper as a full-fledged newspaperman.

In 1922. Ryan became a sports columnist for the Herald-Examiner and in the same year tried his hand at the first written radio continuity in Chicago, In Verse. which the author read himself.

In 1924 Ryan was an announcer, continuity writer and general utility man for WLS, then under banner of Sears. Roebuck. When the Chicago Tribune purchased WDAP and renamed it WGN, Ryan signed up, along with two promising young radio men, Sen Kaney and Jack Nelson, as publicity director.

In 1924 Ryan became manager of WGN. In 1925 when the Scopes trial burst on the bewildered fundamentalists of Tennessee, Quin and his engineers commandeered the courtroom and broadcast the proceedings -- which is radio history. Later Quin was named by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis along with Graham McNamee to air the first World Series to go on the beginning chain of stations.

In February 1931, Ryan married Roberta Nangle of the society side of the Tribune. In this same year he was renamed manager of WGN. the job he held between 1924 and 1927. and a position he has held ever since.

From Radio Daily, April 15, 1937

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