The history of the Am-Pol Eagle

In 1960, there were six Polish language newspapers being circulated in Buffalo, NY. Upon the closing of Everybody’s Daily (a Polish language daily newspaper), however, Matthew W. Pelczynski felt there was a definite need for an English language newspaper that would report and cover pictorially activities in Polonia, the Polish-American community. Pelczynski believed that although the Polish language was spoken in many homes, and that Polish Americans were proud of their heritage and traditions, they nevertheless were more comfortable in the English language.

The pilot issue of the Am-Pol Eagle made its debut in July of 1960, with a second sample issue that August. Regular publication began on September 15, 1960 and has continued on a regular weekly basis to today.

The publisher of the Am-Pol Eagle was Pelczynski, the Buffalo Standard Printing Corp. president. He served as the founder and first editor as well as publisher of the newly-formed newspaper.

In his first editorial in the July 1960 issue he wrote:

“For some time now, there has been a need for a newspaper that would cater exclusively to the Polish Americans of Western New York. For a number of years, many groups and prominent individuals have been discussing the need for such a publication. However, to date, nothing has been accomplished.
“To fulfill this need, we wish to announce the publishing of a weekly newspaper to be entitled “Am-Pol Eagle.” This newspaper will be entirely dedicated to serve the Americans of Polish origin. It will report news exclusively of Polish Americans, their parishes, their political views, their societies, organizations, clubs, deaths, births, engagements, weddings, social affairs, and generally speaking — every bit of news concerning Polish-American people.”

Pelczynski remained as editor and publisher until his death in 1993. What he began as a four-page publication, mushroomed to an average 16 to 20 pages per week. He persevered through the good times and the bad times believing at all times that the Am-Pol Eagle was an important and integral part of the community.

After his death, Renee Harzewski, who was with the newspaper since its inception purchased the corporation which publishes the Am-Pol Eagle. As publisher she has provided continuity while making progressive changes to the publication. In 2007, managing editor Roger Puchalski was named publisher.

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