Jerry Hulse was a “gentleman traveler” who turned his love for travel into a successful career as travel editor for the Los Angeles Times. Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry owes a huge debt of gratitude to talented writers like Jerry Hulse who have been able to capture the magical allure of the islands.
Jerry joined the Times in 1952 as a crime reporter, but worked his way up to become the paper’s travel editor in 1960. The timing was fortuitous for Jerry and for Hawaiʻi tourism. Jerry’s extraordinary writing talents produced weekly travel columns at one of America’s leading newspapers … just as statehood and the introduction of jet aircraft increased interest in travel to Hawaiʻi. When Jerry began writing about the islands, there were just about 300,000 annual visitors. By the time he retired, Hawaiʻi was welcoming more than 6 million … and one out of every five of them was from California.
Jerry’s credibility as a travel writer came from his uncompromising ethics and style that was both poetic and honest. As for his ethics, unlike many of his travel writer contemporaries, Jerry did not accept complimentary travel and lodging when he wrote his stories. Everything was on the Times and every story was clear of any conflict of interest. As for the poetry and honesty of his style, here is his last piece for the Times from Kauaʻi, where he retired:
“It is dawn, and save for the sound of ocean waves washing beneath my window, my world is as silent as a shining star. Last evening it rained so that today the sky is as blue as a young girl’s eyes. All would be well if only that infernal rooster would stop crowing at midnight.”