Eric Sevareid, The Voice from North Dakota

Eric Sevareid (1912-1992) was well-known several generations ago for being a major television journalist who covered many significant events during the middle of the twentieth century. He was born in the town of Velva, North Dakota, and lived there until he was about thirteen years old.

He was also a writer and an adventurer. Right after graduating from high school, he set out with a friend on a 2,250 mile canoe trip along rivers of the Upper Midwest and Canada, traveling from Minnesota to the Hudson Bay. His book, Canoeing with the Cree (1935), covers this remarkable journey and remains in print. It is also available electronically for free through the United States Library of Congress and can be viewed on screen or downloaded as a PDF file at

North Dakota © Author Adventures

About Velva

Sevareid is still celebrated in his hometown of Velva. The Velva School and Public Library at 101 4th Street serves both the local school and the community and visitors are welcome. The library has a permanent collection related to Sevareid on display.  Contact the school in advance as hours are limited.

The population of Velva is still fairly small, with around a third more residents than the number living there during Eric Sevareid’s childhood.

“I have never quite grasped the worry about the power of the press. After all, it speaks with a thousand voices, in constant dissonance.” — Eric Sevareid

This is the second stop on our North Dakota Author Adventures Trail.

Rebecca Blake Beech