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IU plans statue of WWII journalist Ernie Pyle

February 15, 2014

BLOOMINGTON (AP) — Indiana University officials are planning to honor celebrated World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle with a statue on the Bloomington campus.

The life-size bronze statue will be modeled after a wartime photograph of Pyle, an IU student in the 1920s, sitting on a crate, working with his typewriter on a table, with goggles pushed above his knit cap, Provost Lauren Robel told the school's Board of Trustees during a meeting Thursday.

The statue will be placed outside Franklin Hall, where IU's journalism program will be relocating as part of a new media school, The Herald-Times reported (http://bit.ly/1eVQKqr ).

Pyle's statue will be the third on the Bloomington campus. The others honor Herman B Wells, who was the university's president from 1938-1962, and composer Hoagy Carmichael, a Bloomington native and IU graduate.

Robel said the crate next to the Pyle statue will be large enough that visitors will be able to sit with Pyle as they can on a bench next to the Wells statue.

The Pyle statue should be completed in advance of Franklin Hall's dedication in 2015, she said.

Pyle grew up on a farm near the western Indiana town of Dana and attended IU, but left before graduating to embark on his journalism career.

He was a household name during World War II for his dispatches about individual soldiers, and he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1944. He was killed by a Japanese machine gunner on a Pacific island in April 1945.

The merger of IU's School of Journalism, now housed in Ernie Pyle Hall, into the new Media School has faced controversy, and a legacy committee recommended the statue as a way to honor Pyle.

The statue will be sculpted by artist Tuck Langland, a retired IU-South Bend campus professor who made the Wells statue.

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