Travis K. Hedrick, a long-time newspaperman who was blacklisted in the 1950s for alleged involvement with the Communist Party, died yesterday of cancer at Arlington Hospital. He was 73.
Mr. Hedrick worked for the Soviet News Agency Tass in Washington between 1947 and 1948. He had also been employed by the U.S.S.R. Information Bullentin and had been connected with several unions considered to be radical at the time.
It was these activities that led to his being called as a witness before the Senate Internal Security Subcommitee in 1952.
At the hearings Mr. Hedrick told the subcommittee he had worked for Tass and the Information Bulletin but declined to answer questions and took the Fifth Amendment on grounds of possible self-incrimination. He refused to say if he had been a Communist, as had been alleged the previous year in testimony before what was then the House Un-American Activities Committee by Mary Stalcup Markward, a former FBI undercover agent.
Mr. Hedrick was editor of The Hosiery Worker, the house organ of the American Federation of Hosiery Workers, in Philadelphia between 1940 and 1942. He was publicity director for CIO Oil Workers Organizing Committee in Washington and Texas during the following two years. Both these unions were considered by many to be radical.
Mr. Hedrick's newspaper career began in 1926 when he joined the Chattanooga Times in Tennessee. He left the paper after a brief stay to work for the Associated Press and the Birmingham Age-Herald before returning to The Chattanooga Times, where he remained until 1939.
After working for the American Federation of Hosiery Workers and the CIO he joined the overseas division of the Office of War Information in New York in 1943. Between 1943 and 1948 he worked for the Federated Press Labor News Service and then joined Tass.
After the Senate hearings Mr. Hedrick, who said he was blacklisted, was unable to get a job in journalism again. He held several jobs, including some in sales, before going into advertising promotion, where he remained for a number of years.
It was not until the mid-1960s that Mr. Hedrick was able to sign freelance articles with his own name. In the last years he published pieces in several national magazines and newspapers. In 1971 he was named contributing editor, Washington, of The Western Stamp Collector, a job he held until 1975.
Surviving are his wife, Mildred, of the home; a son, Travis Jr., of Middletown, Conn., a daughter, Phyllis H. Ingram of Naples, Fla., and a sister, Mary H. Simunich of Phoenix, Arix., and five grandchildren.