William E. Vaughan

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William E. Vaughan
Born October 8, 1915
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died February 25, 1977
Occupation Columnist
Nationality American

William E. ("Bill") Vaughan (October 8, 1915 – February 25, 1977) was an American columnist and author. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, he wrote a syndicated column for the Kansas City Star from 1946 until his death in 1977. He was published in Reader's Digest and Better Homes and Gardens under the pseudonym Burton Hillis.[1] He attended Washington University in St. Louis.

His folksy aphorisms (published in his "Starbeams" feature) are often collected in books and on Internet sites. Bill Vaughan died at age 61 of lung cancer.


  • "A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works."
  • "Size isn't everything. The whale is endangered, while the ant continues to do just fine."
  • "A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election."
  • "If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity."
  • "Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them."
  • "It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world would occasionally swap history books, just to see what other people are doing with the same set of facts."
  • "An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
  • "Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man's lifetime income—which he then spends sending his son to college."
  • "It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them."
  • "The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a family all wrapped up in each other."
  • "Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to!"
  • "The groundhog is like most prophets; it delivers its prediction then disappears."


2. Kansas City Star. "Tell Me a Story of Christmas'. http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/article4801698.html 3. Starbeams. Personal Author: Vaughan, Bill. Added Author(s): Vaughan, Kirk W. Butler, Robert W., 1948-. ISBN 9780830903290. Publication Information: Independence, MO : Independence Press, [c1981] Physical Description: 148 p. ill. 21 cm.


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