John C. Shurr

Retired S.C. Associated Press Bureau Chief
S.C. Press Association FOI Chair
Columbia, SC

led fight for open government in South Carolina

Video Interview

This video has been edited for length. If you’d like to listen to the full raw audio from our interview with John Shurr, contact SCPA.


Born: March 15, 1947 in Muskogee, Oklahoma 

Died: March 1, 2015 in Columbia, S.C.

Newspaper History:

  • Executive Editor of the Oklahoma Daily, student newspaper at the University of Oklahoma
  • Muskogee Phoenix, 1966
  • Norman Transcript, 1970-1973
  • Chicago Assistant Bureau Chief
  • Oklahoma Associated Press Bureau Chief, 1981-1984
  • S.C. Associated Press Bureau Chief, 1984-2007
  • S.C. Press Association FOI Chair, 1986-2009
  • Native American Journalists Association member, 20+ years
  • Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board Chairman, 2000-2015

Honors and Awards: 

  • SCPA Distinguished Service Award
  • 2 SCPA FOI Awards
  • S.C. Order of the Palmetto
  • Gavel Award from the American Bar Association
  • Elias Boudinot Award
  • Navy Presidential Unit Citations (2)
  • Navy Unit Commendations (2)
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Battle Efficiency Awards (3)
  • Vietnam Gallantry Cross
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal (3 bronze stars) 

Education: B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma

Military Service: U.S. Navy

Family: Wife, Debbie

SCPA's oral history project is dedicated to preserving the heritage of our state's journalists and newspapers.

This program is funded by the South Carolina Humanities Council, whose mission is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. This program is co-sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications.