Skip to main content

Savage, Lon, 1928-2004


Biographical Note

The son of Joseph W. and Janet Kelly Savage, Lon Kelly Savage was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on December 17, 1928. After graduating from Cornell University, Savage spent a year at the University of Grenoble in France, then worked as a reporter at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. From 1955 to 1960, he served as chief of United Press International's Richmond, Virginia bureau, then worked for the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a night city editor, columnist, feature writer and reporter. In 1965, Savage became executive assistant to Virginia Tech President T. Marshall Hahn. Savage retained that position through the presidency of William E. Lavery (1975-1988), then became director of the university's Scholarly Communications Project, pioneering the online publication of academic journals. 1986 saw the initial publication of Savage's book Thunder in the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920-21. Following the publisher's demise, Savage founded his own publishing enterprise, Northcross Publishers, operating from the basement of his home in Elliston, Virginia.

Savage's first wife, Ellen French McCann Savage, died in 1980. In 1985, he met and married Virginia "Ginny" Moomaw, president of World Travel Service of Blacksburg and Roanoke. After his 1993 retirement, Savage moved to Salem, Virginia. He remained active, serving as chairman of Virginia Tech's Friends of the Library group and editing the Smithfield Review. He also served as president of the Salem Historical Society and as a board member for the Art Museum of Western Virginia. Father of four, Lon K. Savage died at his home in Salem on July 27, 2004.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lon Savage Collection,

Identifier: Ms-2014-009

Typescript drafts and research materials--including photocopies of interview transcripts, court documents, and printed materials--for Lon Savage's book, Thunder in the Mountains: the West Virginia Mine War, 1920-21.

Dates: [1919]-1994