"As city editor it immediately developed that one of the problems was to keep McGee from converting every line into rhyme. His poetry was ingrained.”
Grant McGee was born in Missouri, where he received a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College. After graduating with his journalism degree from Missouri University in 1916, he moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma, as a reporter for the Muskogee Times-Democrat and Muskogee Phoenix. He later came to Oklahoma City and worked at The Oklahoman and Times before accepting a position on the editorial staff of the Scripps-Howard Oklahoma News in 1923, where he worked until the newspaper folded in 1939. He was transferred to Press Scimitar in Memphis, Tennessee, and worked with that paper until his retirement as city editor in 1958.
While with Oklahoma News, McGee became well known for his series of feature articles detailing the Depression. Oklahoma historian Pendleton Woods noted that “his articles touched more clearly the heart of the problem than most other writings, and had great influence upon the social climate of the time.”
Historians believe that Grant McGee may have been among the first journalists to coin the phrase “black gold” to describe the abundant oil in Oklahoma.
McGee came to Muskogee, Oklahoma, as a journalist in 1916.