Elmer Lower's resume reads like a "Who's Who" in broadcast journalism. Life Magazine, CBS, NBC, ABC. But before all that, Lower was a kid who idolized his brother, Louis Lower, who was the first DeMolay.
Lower's exposure to DeMolay began when his brother became the first DeMolay. While Lower was only six years old, too young to join DeMolay, he was still always around. He lugged equipment to their baseball games, chased foul balls, and when he was a little older, kept score. Lower was finally able to join DeMolay for himself at age 15. He changed his hours at high school so he could work afternoons and Saturdays at the DeMolay headquarters. It was while he was working at DeMolay that his journalistic talent was discovered.
A Kansas City newspaperman, George Sykes, was publishing the DeMolay magazines and handling DeMolay's public relations. Sykes asked Lower to write a few stories. Lower's interest in sports led him to write sports stories. After reading Lower's efforts, Sykes told Lower that he should go to the University of Missouri, which had the first and best journalism school in the world. So, in the fall of 1930, Lower packed his bags and hitchhiked 125 miles to enroll.
Lower's journalistic career began in 1944 when he began working at Life Magazine. He was the Los Angeles Bureau Chief and the Paris Bureau Chief. In 1953, Lower joined the staff at Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). During his career with CBS he was the Washington Bureau Chief and the Director of Special Projects and Operations. In 1959, he moved on to the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) where he served as the Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Producer, Vice President, and General Manager. In 1963, he started working at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) as the President of ABC News, Corporate Vice President, and Company Officer. He left ABC in 1978 and began teaching journalism at the college level.
Lower taught journalism at several universities including San Diego State University, Ohio University, University of Kansas, James Madison University, Brigham Young University, Columbia University, Syracuse University, and, his alma mater, the University of Missouri. Lower has received many awards and honors during his long and distinguished journalistic career, including two Emmy Awards (1970 and 1975), and induction into the Journalism Hall of Fame (1981).
Lower was initiated into Mother Chapter DeMolay in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1929. Lower is a Legion of Honor recipient. Lower was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on May 1, 1988.
"The DeMolay movement was important to me from the date it was founded. It made a strong contribution to my character at a very formative period of my life. It showed me that I could set and achieve a high standard of ethics and morals, although at the time I doubt that I ever used those words."