Greb, Gordon B.  (1921-2016)

Greb, Gordon B. (1921-2016)

Date Updated



Journalism and Mass Communications

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU

1983; FERP 1983-90

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Gordon Greb papers

Educational Background

Stanford University, 1951 Ph.D. candidate 54

University of Southern California, 1951 summer school

University of Minnesota, 1950 M.A.

University of California, Berkeley, 1946 B.A.

Ohio State University, 1943 Army Specialized Training Program

University of California, Berkeley, 1940-1943 A.A.

Teaching Experience

United States Information Specialist, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji Islands, 1991-1991

California State University, Chico, 1986-1986

Beijing Radio-Television Institute, China, 1985-1985

Cambridge University, Trinity College, 1980-1980

The City University of London, U.K., 1980-1980

University of Wisconsin, Madison (summers), 1968-1970

Mass Communications Graduate Studies (SJSU coordinator), 1975-1983

San Jose State College/University, 1956-1990

Stanford University (teaching assistant), 1951-1954

University of Oregon, Eugene, 1950-1951

San Bernardino Valley Community College, 1949-1950

University of Minnesota (teaching assistant), 1948-1949

Administrative and Professional Experience

Reporter, Columnist and/or Editor (San Leandro News-Observer, San Rafael Daily Independent, Fort Dix N.J. Post)

Writer, Newscaster, Producer, Program Director, and/or News Director (radio stations KTAB, KROW, KRCC, KTIM, KVSM, KLX, KUOM, KRNO, KOAC, KNX, KSJO, KSJS and television stations KNTV-TV, KABC-TV, KNBC-TV, KQED-TV, KCSM-TV, and KTEH-TV

Selected Publications

Master’s Thesis

"Freedom of the Movies in Presenting News and Opinions," University of Minnesota (l951), cited before the U.S. Supreme Court in helping to overturn movie censorship in Burstyn vs. Wilson, et al (l952)


Contemporary Issues in American Society, Spartan Books (1967) used as a study guide for experimental course taught over television by San Jose State College with professors Whitaker T. Deininger, Billie Barnes Jensen, and James E. Watson

Charles David Herrold,Inventor of Radio Broadcasting (with Mike Adams), McFarland Publishing, 2003

Google Brain: Making Your Memoir a Time Machine on the Internet, iUniverse (2009)


"The Sumi Artist," narrator, documentary on Chiura Obata, professor of art at the University of California, Berkeley, produced by Lobett Films, 1958

"The American Newspaper: What Makes the Democratic Press Different," host, 16 mm. 40-min. motion picture, ITV Center, San Jose State University, l961

"The Dow Chemical Demonstration," host, 35-min videotape of documentary aired over KQED-TV, l967

"Why Did He Die?" host, 30-min. v videotape of documentary on death of Martin Luther King aired over KCSM-TV, 1968

Scholarly Articles

"The Place of Journalism in the Junior College," Journalism Quarterly, Summer 1954, 31: 354-57

"The Golden Anniversary of Broadcasting," Journal of Broadcasting, Winter 1958-59, 3-13.

"Surveying Public Opinion by 'Beeper' Telephone," Journalism Quarterly, Winter 1959, 36:57-81

Personal Commentary

If you learn to laugh at the mistakes you make in life, chances are you'll live longer, happier, and healthier, going to heaven with a smile on your face instead of a frown.

Date Completed:14 May 2010

When old "Doc" Ormsby filled out my birth certificate, his pen shook so much that the county clerk misread the doctor's writing and wrote baby "Goel" was born. Result: my parents had to legally rename their son "Greb." According to the New Dictionary of American Family Names, "Greb" is a "variant of Graf (Ger., Fr., and Eng.)," which means "a public scribe." Webster says a scribe also can be "a teacher."

Although I became a child actor in 1934 on a daily adventure serial, "Rusty, the Boy Aviator" (KTAB), my real ambition was to cartoon for Walt Disney and not go to college. As a boy, I published the "Katz Meow," and sold my art and fiction to Oakland newspapers. After meeting the attractive female editor of the Daily Cal, I had no objection to going to college and, of course, completed my BA in journalism at UC Berkeley and master's at the University of Minnesota.

Dean Ralph Casey at Minnesota, who encouraged me to teach, saw that I was appointed to Oregon's faculty and admitted to Stanford's graduate program by 1951. Shortly thereafter my thesis helped strike down movie censorship when it was cited before the U.S. Supreme Court in Burstyn v. Wilson (1952) and attorney Ephraim S. London wrote, "I am amazed that someone who is not a lawyer could have had so clear a comprehension of the legal questions involved."

Now married to a '48 Stanford graduate, we faced a financial crisis in 1954 when the GI Bill ran out and our first new baby arrived. I left three years of Ph.D. studies undone to take a full‑time job as News Director at KSJO, San Jose. Two years later SJS Journalism Head Dwight Bentel hired me to build the state's first accredited radio‑television degree program in journalism. Not long afterward I discovered and helped to celebrate the fact that America's first radio broadcasting station had been founded in San Jose in 1909 and my 1959 Journal of Broadcasting article has kept me busy for years with research and writing, leading to Mike Adams' PBS documentary in 1995, "Broadcasting's Forgotten Father." In the spring of 1990, after nearly 35 years at SJS, I retired to two California homes‑‑one in Chico and another at Half Moon Bay.

Sitting in my easy chair, being informed by radio, television and the press, it's grand to find out what's going on in the world from former students. It means that San Jose State made a difference in their lives and certainly in mine, as this year the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications selected me for its "Distinguished Broadcast Educator Award." I am honored to have taught at SJSU, the state's oldest public institution of higher learning and to have seen it grow into a great university.

Date Completed: 8/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Greb, Gordon B.  (1921-2016)