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Jack Gordon


This is the Man Who Invented the Seafair Pirates?

Press Club members in Washington D.C.

Art Forde and Fred Carter

Jack Gordon in his Press Club fez

back of photo


The typewritten caption on the reverse of this photo says:


Why is this guy in a fez credited as the very first Seattle Seafair Pirate? (Pirate #0 in this computer age.) He's Jack Gordon, the press flack given credit for the revival of the Washington State Press Club following World War II as writers, ad-men, columnists, publicists, photogs, and the rest of the mostly print world started to trickle back to Seattle and the Evergreen State.

As one of Walter Van Camp's first (and obviously the best) hires at Greater Seattle, after Van Camp was lured away from the Minneapolis Aquatennial, Jack convinced many of his buddies at the Press Club that dressing up as pirates for the "Seafair Festival" celebrating Seattle centennial would be lots of fun. The original Seafair Pirates were known as the "Davy Jones" operation of the Ale and Quail Society.* (from the October, 1951, issue of Gentlemen of the Press, the newsletter of the Washington State Press Club.)


Seafair Pirates web page copyright message

Seafair Pirates web page copyright message


As he developed the "Seafair Legend" over the years, Jack managed to work the fun loving Press Club Pirates into the story. And as can be seen from the screen-shot above, 60+ years later, the pirates remember Jack as their creator. It may be a bit tough to see in the image above, but the Pirates' web site is copyrighted by the "Ale & Quail Society."


The Washington State Press Club
The Ale & Quail Society

Washington State Press Club members in their clubhouse

Photo By Dexter, 2028 Terry Ave, Seattle, SE. 0313

Members of the Washington State Press Club gather around the piano in 1947.

Identified by Jack Gordon as taken sometime in 1947 or '48, the members include (unfortunately not in the order they are in the photo) Jack Sullivan (Times, Post-Intelligencer, TV Guide), Jerry Hoeck (Miller, Mackay, Hoeck, and Hartung), Cal Druxman (publicist), Joe Miller (Senator Jackson), Charles Regal (Post-Intelligencer), Lenny Anderson (Times, Post-Intelligencer), Bob Ackerly (radio), Roy Scully (Times photographer), John Class (Times photographer), Jack Gordon (Senator Magnusen, Catholic NW Progress, VFW), Bob Callan (navy), and Larry Dion (Times photographer), plus five unidentified Press Club members.

Jack Gordon is 4th from right back row (round pin in lapel).



Press Club members in Washington D.C.

photo credit: Del Ankers, 1122 Vermont Ave, Washington DC

Washington State Press Club delegates in Washington, D.C., late 40's or early 50's.


Members of the Washington State Press Club in their infamous "Ale & Quail" fezzes. From the photo credit, they must have been in our nation's capitol for a convention. During the late 40's and early 50s Jack Gordon criss-crossed the country for (at different times) Seattle University, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Dave Beck and the Teamsters, as well as his own publicity firm Williams and Gordon. That's Jack with a big grin and a bow tie in the back row

The writing on the fezzes says "Washington State Press Club Chapter"


Founded shortly after World War II, the Press Club still lives on through the Pirates.

And no, you'll never see a photo of Jack Gordon dressed up as a pirate. Think of him more as their manager.


You are at JackGordon.org,
a salute to John F "Jack" Gordon, Mr. Seattle
Copyright © 2002-2023 John R. Gordon