Bonavita to be Guest Speaker for Historical Dinner

Denny Bonavita (Provided photo)

DUBOIS – Retired Courier-Express editor and publisher Denny Bonavita will be the guest speaker for the DuBois Area Historical Society’s 36th annual dinner, Thursday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, Sunflower Drive, DuBois.

The cost for dinner is $22 per person. The menu includes chicken marsala, roast beef, red skin potatoes, cabbage and noodles, glazed carrots, salad, desert and coffee.

Reservation and payment are due by Sept. 17 and should be mailed to DuBois Area Historical Society, P. O. Box 401, DuBois, PA 15801.

For more information, call 814-371-9006 to leave a message or e-mail

Bonavita plans a double-pronged approach to his presentation. He intends to outline the changes in newspaper production during his 50-plus years in the business, leading to the current topic of “fake news.”

“I can’t give the blanket denial that folks might expect,” said Bonavita.

“What the press of its day did to Thomas Jefferson was scandalous. Newspapers published by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer led to the Spanish American War and ensuing Philippine Insurrection.”

Bonavita, now 75, retired in 2013 as the editor and publisher of The Courier-Express in DuBois, and also of the Jeffersonian Democrat newspaper in Brookville and the Leader-Vindicator newspaper in New Bethlehem.

He came to DuBois in 1990 as managing editor. He became editor in 1998, and became the publisher in 2001.

He grew up in Warren and graduated from high school there in 1960. He went to Gannon College in Erie, planning to be an English teacher.

He needed a part-time job, and got one as a sports writer at the Times-News in Erie. When he found out that they would actually pay him for telling stories, he knew he had found his calling.

After college, he adjusted insurance claims for a year and sold drugs as a pharmaceutical representative. He stayed in sports writing as a part-timer and or freelancer in Erie, then in Akron and Canton, Ohio. He came back to Warren in 1968.

There he worked for 21 years as sports editor, reporter, city editor and managing editor.

He and his wife of 13 years, Maryellen McDaniel Greene Bonavita, live on an old farm between Brookville and Sigel.

Upcoming is the 12th annual DuBois Area Historical Society Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk, which will explore the East Side of the City of DuBois on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The first tour leaves from the John E. DuBois Hose Company building at 5 p.m. Additional walks will leave every 15 minutes.

To make advance reservations for a specific walk time, telephone 814-371-4627 between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., starting Sept. 20.

Tour groups will be limited to 20 people. Walk-ins are also welcome and will be assigned to the next available tour. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students, with children sixth grade and younger free if accompanied by an adult.

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