Alumni Jack Pollock and Cy Sherman are honored

By Charlyne Berens
J Alumni News editor

Jack Pollock and Cy Sherman joined Paul Wagner as inductees into the Nebraska Press Association Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 6.

Jack Pollock

Pollock, an NU journalism graduate, has been co-publisher of the Keith County News at Ogallala since 1966. The late Cy Sherman was sports editor at the Lincoln Star from 1915-1946.

Pollock has been described as a quintessential “country editor,” although he began his career in Washington, D.C., as a dictation receiver for the Associated Press in 1950 and ’51. The work was part of the program at Antioch College, where Pollock was enrolled in an accelerated course of study. He returned to Nebraska and entered the University of Nebraska’s journalism program in 1951, then spent 1952-56 in the U.S. Navy where he edited monthly, weekly and daily publications.

After his discharge, he returned to NU, working at the Daily Nebraskan and as a general feature writer for the Lincoln Star until his graduation in 1958. He was a reporter for the Sidney Telegraph for two years and joined the staff at the Keith County News in 1960. He and his wife, Beverly Buck Pollock, have published the paper since 1966. It is the largest non-daily newspaper in western Nebraska.

Fellow publisher Bob Pinkerton of Kimball said Pollock was “a fierce battler for things that will benefit Ogallala and his area, yet he can’t be accused of boosterism.” Pollock has served the Ogallala community in a variety of posts, including as president of Front Street Inc., the Ogallala tourist landmark, of which he was a founder. He is current chairman of the Ogallala Main Street Committee. He also was active in promoting the development of Fort Robinson State Park, Ash Hollow State Historical Park and Lake McConaughy.

Pollock has also had leadership roles in many statewide organizations and boards, most of which meet in Lincoln and Omaha, several hundred miles from Ogallala. He currently serves on the boards of the University of Nebraska Foundation, the Nebraska Diplomats, Western Nebraska Community Foundation and Nebraskaland Foundation.

Pinkerton described Pollock as an outstanding newspaperman, “modest, honorable and a man of high integrity. He champions causes that are not always popular.” Henry Trysla, retired publisher of the South Sioux City Star, also lauded Pollock’s strength of character. Trysla recalled an incident in the 1990s when the Nebraska League of Municipalities challenged legislation requiring governmental subdivisions to publish notices in local newspapers.

“It was Jack who accepted an invitation to speak at the League’s annual meeting and soothe the opposition with his forthright, sincere explanation of the public’s right to know. Few other Nebraska publishers could have kept their cool in the confrontational situation Jack faced, but his calm, almost charming manner won Nebraska’s newspapers many friends that day,” Trysla said.

Jack and Beverly Pollock have two married children — a son in Lincoln and a daughter in Omaha — and two grandchildren.

Cy Sherman

Sherman grew up working at his father’s newspaper in Plattsmouth, then joined the staff of the Lincoln Journal in 1897 before moving to the sports editor’s position at the Star in 1915. In 1900, as a sports writer, he christened the University of Nebraska athletic teams the Cornhuskers, replacing the earlier nickname, Bug Eaters. The name caught on quickly at the university, and in 1946, when the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill naming the state the Cornhusker State, Gov. Dwight Griswold presented Sherman with the pen he used to sign the bill.

Sherman was a major force in pressuring the Associated Press to launch the AP College Football Poll in 1936 and was a key figure in the establishment of pro baseball’s Western League; the Lincoln team’s park was named Sherman Field in his honor.

George Miller retired editor of the Plattsmouth Journal, said, “Sherman was a newspaper stylist of the old school in matters of punctuation, grammar, capitalization and spelling, drilling every new cub reporter on such topics.”

A mentor to young reporters, Sherman was also known for his role as a mentor to Cornhusker athletes. When the University Alumni Association presented him an honorary life membership in 1949, the citation accompanying the award read: “He was a great dad to more than one Cornhusker immortal, offering words of encouragement, sound advice, inspiring counsel embodying the highest ideals of sportsmanship and manhood.”

Sherman was married to Nancy Moore Sherman, an investment banker with Lincoln Trust Company, but the couple had no children. He died in 1951.