Frank Neuhauser, Winner Of The First National Spelling Bee

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011


Frank Neuhauser, winner of the very first national spelling bee in 1925, is dead. D-E-A-D. Dead.

A family spokesperson said Neuhauser died of Myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disease so hard to spell many doctors refuse to cure it.

In 1925 the eleven year-old Neuhauser won first prize by correctly spelling the word “gladiolus.” He then promptly returned home to endless schoolyard beatings because he correctly spelled the word “gladiolus.”

First prize included a trip to the White House to meet President Calvin Coolidge, where he quickly learned the word “boring.”

Since then, it’s been a tradition for contest winners to visit the president in office, including George W. Bush, who still insists “LMNOP” is one letter.

Neuhauser also won $500 in gold and a bicycle, which in today’s values would be equal to around $500 in gold and a bicycle.

Neuhauser requested his body be used in a sentence and buried within two minutes and thirty seconds.

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