Leonard Herman Verbarg (October 26, 1903 – March 24, 1984) was a long-time newspaperman, and the last columnist behind The Knave history column in the Oakland Tribune. Verbarg was also the author of Celebrities at Your Doorstep, a collection of columns from The Knave, and involved in the re-forming of the Alameda County Historical Society.

Verbarg was born October 26, 1903 to Leonard William Verbarg and Catherine Elizabeth Gasper in North Vernon, Indiana. His writing career began at North Vernon High School, where he was sports editor for the school paper. He attended Littleford College in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was convinced to go to California in 1926.

After a brief stint working in a furniture store, in 1927 he went to work for the San Francisco Call-Bulletin where he was until at least 1933. He moved to the Oakland Post-Enquirer, and around 1950 to the Oakland Tribune where he spent the rest of his career. 1

Verbarg married Gertrude Eaton (Verbarg) (October 8, 1899 – December 11, 1980) on September 15, 1933. 2 They didn't have any children, but a few years later Leonard's parents moved to Oakland, too.

His identity as the writer behind The Knave was revealed by Rev. William Abeloe at the unveiling of a historic plaque. 1 Verbarg wrote The Knave column from 1954 to 1974, when William F. Knowland, editor and publisher of the Tribune, died.

After Gertrude died in 1980, Leonard moved back to Indiana to be near family; he died in 1984. One article describes him as the "founding president" of the Alameda County Historical Society; 2 an obituary says "founding member." 3 The Verbargs (including Leonard's parents) are buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward. 4

Links and References

  1. 50-Year Journalist Cited for Contributions The Republic July 13, 1981
  2. Gertrude Eaton Weds Oakland Man Woodland Daily Democrat September 21, 1933
  3. Leonard Herman Verbarg Columbus Herald March 24, 1984
  4. Leonard Herman Verbarg on FindAGrave.com