Tuesday, March 20, 2012

N.J. O'Neail (1898-1972)

Author, Journalist
Born January 19, 1898, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Died May 4, 1972, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Since writing on N.J. O'Neail, I have heard from Weird Tales researcher Randal A. Everts with more information on the Canadian author's life, gleaned from a letter written by his sister in 1995.

Norbert James O'Neail attended schools in Brantford, Ontario, and by age seven was already writing and keeping a notebook or commonplace book. He started his newspaper career at the Brantford Courier, which ceased publication in 1919. At the time O'Neail was city editor, and at age twenty-one, one of the youngest journalists in Canada to hold that position. From 1919 until 1945, he was with the Toronto Daily Star. Known to his friends as "Tip" O'Neail (after James Edward "Tip" O'Neill, a major league baseball league player born in Springfield, Ontario, near Brantford), O'Neail was with the Financial Post newspaper for a short time, then with the Toronto Telegram until he retired in 1962. He wrote a column on Canada for the Detroit Free Press, circa 1947-1950, and wrote political speeches for members of the Ontario legislature in the 1930s and 1940s.

N.J. O'Neail was a member of the Irish Regiment, Royal Canadian Army Reserve Corps during the war years, 1939 to 1945. In the 1930s, he wrote for popular pulp magazines, including Weird Tales. In 1947 he was a member of the panel on a radio show, "Press Club News Quiz," on station CFRB Toronto. The panel attempted to answer questions related to news, past and present, sent in by listeners. With his photographic memory, O'Neail anchored the panel and could always be counted on to answer questions others could not handle.

Norbert James O'Neail died in Toronto on May 4, 1972, at age seventy-four.

Author and journalist Norbert James "Tip" O'Neail (1898-1972). Photograph courtesy of Randal A. Everts.
Text and captions copyright 2012 by Randal A. Everts and Terence E. Hanley


  1. Nice follow up on the Norbert J. O'Neail article. Hopefully, we can find out what happened to Allison V. Harding.

  2. Joel,

    Thanks for your comments. You can thank Randal Everts for providing much of the information for the follow-up.

    I'm still working on the Allison V. Harding case.