ST. CLOUD - May 30, 1911 – Celebrating the life of Myron Hall

Myron Hall, whose 100th year birthday would be celebrated today, chronicled events for more than 40 years as the Times’ only photojournalist and proved an influential figure in the history of Central Minnesota.

Myron Hall was born in St. Cloud on May 30, 1911. He then graduated from Cathedral High School in 1930. While studying for a major in psychology and industrial arts at what is now St. Cloud State University, he got a job at the St. Cloud Times stuffing comic sections into the weekend editions. However, it was Hall’s unusual yet profitable idea to include pictures in the newspaper as human interest features which truly began his famous career at the Times.

“For half a century, Myron [Hall] was the eyes of Central Minnesota.” (Mike Knaak, St. Cloud Times, 9 Aug. 1996) Photographing diverse events such as political events, sports, disasters, and area celebrations, there was not any occasion which escaped the artful eyes of Myron Hall. Hall spoke volumes about the history of Central Minnesota through his photographs. Without him, St. Cloud’s collective memory would be devoid of countless images which illustrate the story of a community.

Hall’s talent as a photographer was recognized both locally and nationally. His work appeared in Life and Time magazines, the New York Herald Tribune, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. He received Associated Press awards for excellence in photography, 16 of these are currently on display at the Stearns History Museum. His photographs have been exhibited at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and were the subject of a Minnesota public television documentary.

Hall retired in 1976 after 46 years of service to the St. Cloud Times. Myron took more than 300,000 pictures of Central Minnesota in his career as a Times photographer. After his retirement, Hall donated his collection of about 27,000 prints and 245,000 negatives to the Stearns History Museum. Governor Wendell Anderson declared the day of his retirement, Sept. 18, 1976, Myron Hall Day in Minnesota which portrays the significance of Hall in the history of the community.

The stories gained from such experiences in Central Minnesota added to the natural charm of the family man. Myron was married to his wife Valeria (Fridge) for over 57 years and had 11 children. Hall was often described as a warm and enigmatic individual whose great joy was found in his family as well as his career.

His death at the age of 85 in his St. Cloud home on August 3, 1996, was a loss not only to his family but also to the Central Minnesota area which esteemed his lens and the man behind it.

Thank you to Brittany Bokovoy and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date In Central Minnesota History”.