Man peddling papers for decades

Andrew Robinson
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Telegram seller Carl LeGrow a fixture in downtown St. John’s

Carl LeGrow has been selling The Telegram in downtown St. John’s for more than half a century.  —  Photo By Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Every weekday morning, you will find Carl LeGrow perched in front of Atlantic Place on Water Street in St. John’s.

The 64-year-old was born and raised in the downtown. LeGrow has been selling copies of The Telegram for more than 50 years and, for many, he’s been a fixture of the area.

His association with the paper is now stretching into its sixth decade.

“I’ve been down here selling papers all me life — 53 years in two months,” said LeGrow, chatting with The Telegram Monday afternoon.


It was his father, originally from Blackhead just outside St. John’s, who helped get him started selling papers. From there, LeGrow just “kept at it and kept at it,” as he puts it.

Starting out in the 1960s, LeGrow would sell 30 papers a day and receive a penny for every paper sold. Back then, he would sell The Telegram in front of the former Woolco location on Water Street.

LeGrow moved to Atlantic Place as soon as it opened in the mid-1970s. He has since then become a familiar face for many including prominent lawyers and judges — Atlantic Place is the home of St. John’s Provincial Court.

“I loves selling papers,” said LeGrow. “I love meeting all the people.”

Customers have come and gone over the years, though LeGrow says there remains one he personally delivers the paper to every morning who has stuck with him for close to 40 years.

“I’ve got a few regular customers who come down here,” he said.

LeGrow’s dedication to his job seems fairly straightforward when he defines it in his own words.

“If the papers are out, I’m out. If there’s no paper out, I stay home. Forty below or 30 below, I’m out here. I won’t stay home.”

Outside of selling The Telegram, LeGrow is an active volunteer. He has offered his services to the Waterford Hospital Lions Club for the last 28 years.

Shawn Barnes, a former district manager with The Telegram who was responsible for vending box sales and street sellers, says LeGrow’s commitment to the job is unprecedented.

“He’s been doing it for a very, very long time without fail. He doesn’t miss a day, rain or snow. ... He’s probably one of the most dedicated, reliable delivery people/sales peoples that I’ve ever known. He’s quite the character.”

Barnes said LeGrow is very personable and that selling newspapers is a part of his routine.

“He’ll continue doing it as long as the paper is there for him to be putting it out.”

LeGrow says he intends to continue selling newspapers in front of Atlantic Place for as long as he can manage, so long as his health allows. LeGrow said he is grateful to have customers who continue to support him.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: The Telegram, Waterford Hospital Lions Club

Geographic location: Atlantic Place, Water Street, Blackhead

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Recent comments

  • Kelly Tackaberry-Flight
    May 01, 2013 - 20:15

    Great story!

  • Linda
    May 01, 2013 - 00:30

    We are very proud of you Uncle Carl. Great work. You are a very inspirational person to me. Lots of Love being sent home to you from us. Love Linny, Ben and Dylan.

  • heber slade
    May 01, 2013 - 00:12

    way to go carl

  • Shirley Flight
    April 30, 2013 - 22:30

    A big congratulations to Carl Legrow!The Telegram should be very proud of him and honored to have such a dedicated employee.It's nice to see that Carl has gotten some well deserved recognition for his dedication to his job.Way to go Carl! Great job!Proud of you.

  • JP
    April 30, 2013 - 19:19

    What a great news story. Heartwarming to see someone so dedicated

  • Karen LeGrow
    April 30, 2013 - 17:32

    Way to go Carl're an inspiration to all.Congratulations.

  • April LeGrow
    April 30, 2013 - 17:21

    Good job Uncle Carl! You make our family proud!

  • Sharon LeGrow
    April 30, 2013 - 17:05

    So proud of you Carl... I know Mom and Dad are both smiling down on you!!! xo

  • seanoairborne
    April 30, 2013 - 14:30

    Are you sure he got only one penny a copy way back when?I had thirty customers when I delivered papers for the Telegram way back in the early 60s and we got 15 cents a copy for the weekend edition and 8 cents for the daily.Just wondering!

    April 30, 2013 - 13:17

    They don't make them like Carl LeGrown any more. Pity!

  • Joanne
    April 30, 2013 - 12:31

    Good job, so proud of you, Carl. You deserve a pat on the back for dedication and hard work. Should be .more out there with your attitude

  • Lisa
    April 30, 2013 - 12:01

    Great job Uncle Carl! It was such a thrill to see you on the front page of the paper today. Now everyone knows what your friends and family have known for years; that you are a very hard worker and a great man. So very proud of you!

  • Nellie Ash
    April 30, 2013 - 11:49

    Congratulations, Carl !! I remember when you started selling the papers in front of Woolworth's many years ago. You are an inspiration to people everywhere ! Your cousin, Nellie

  • Joanne
    April 30, 2013 - 11:22

    Congratulations on a job well done Carl!! I don't think most people would have stayed at a job that long, especially one that keeps them outdoors in our Newfoundland weather for so long a period of time. I am not a customer of your's, but I do hope to continue seeing you on Water Street. Keep up the great job.

  • Good Job
    April 30, 2013 - 09:19

    Now, if only half the public servant types working at Atlantic Place, like the School Boards and Courts, had the same work ethic...... Hope they learn something from him as a constant reminder on their doorstep.

  • jackie
    April 30, 2013 - 08:45

    great story Andrew

  • Cheryl
    April 30, 2013 - 08:18

    Good job Uncle Carl, your family is proud of you!

  • Good story
    April 30, 2013 - 08:18

    Now that's dedication. A few people could learn from him.

  • Calvin Powell
    April 30, 2013 - 08:10

    Finally, a good NEWS story, about a person who sells the NEWS. His work ethic is exemplary. That is a message we all can only to strive for.

    • Gerard Hayes
      April 30, 2013 - 11:01

      I used to buy my Telegram from Carl when I worked downtown. That was over 20 years ago. It's good to see Carl is still in good health and still faithfully delivering his papers. Congratulations, Carl!!