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Photograph of Mayor Oran K. Gragson (left) with author Earl Wilson, circa 1971


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1969 to 1972


Las Vegas Mayor Oran K. Gragson (left) with author Earl Wilson. Mayor Gragson is holding a copy of Earl's book, The Show Business Nobody Knows. A large cake decorated as a newspaper announcing the publishing of the book sits on the table in front of them. The location where the photograph was taken is unknown. Oran Kenneth Gragson (February 14, 1911 – October 7, 2002) was an American businessman and politician. He was the longest-serving mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada, from 1959 to 1975. Gragson, a member of the Republican Party, was a small business owner who was elected Mayor on a reform platform against police corruption and for equal opportunity for people of all socio-economic and racial categories. Gragson died in a Las Vegas hospice on October 7, 2002, at the age of 91. The Oran K. Gragson Elementary School located at 555 N. Honolulu Street, Las Vegas, NV 89110 was named in his honor. Earl Wilson (May 3, 1907–January 16, 1987), born Harvey Earl Wilson, was an American journalist, gossip columnist and author, perhaps best known for his nationally syndicated newspaper column, It Happened Last Night. Wilson's column originated from the New York Post and ran from 1942 until 1983. His chronicling of the Broadway theatre scene during the "Golden Age" of show business formed the basis for a book published in 1971, The Show Business Nobody Knows. He signed his columns with the tag line, "That's Earl, brother." His nickname was "Midnight Earl". In later years, the name of his column was changed to Last Night With Earl Wilson. In his final years with the Post, he alternated with the paper's entertainment writer and restaurant critic, Martin Burden, in turning out the column. (Burden, who died in 1993, took over the Last Night column full-time upon Wilson's retirement.) Wilson is also the author of two controversial books, Show Business Laid Bare, and an unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra, Sinatra – An Unauthorized Biography. The former book is notable for revealing the extramarital affairs of President John F. Kennedy.

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pho017984. Oran K. Gragson Photographs. PH-00310. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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