The life and times of John Cowles Jr.

  • Updated: March 18, 2012 - 10:04 PM


May 27, 1929: Born in Des Moines.

1935: Is 6 when his father, John Sr., and his uncle buy the evening Minneapolis Star.

1938: Family moves from Des Moines to Minneapolis.

1941: Family consolidates ownership of all Minneapolis newspapers.

1951: Graduates from Harvard University.

Early 1950s: Serves in U.S. Army.

1953: Joins Minneapolis newspapers as police reporter. Subsequently covers City Hall and the Legislature and works on the copy desk.

1955: Shifts to newspapers' business department.

1959: Returns to news and editorial departments as vice president and associate editor.

1960: Persuades Tyrone Guthrie to build a regional theater in Minneapolis and raises $2.4 million to do so.

1961: Succeeds his father as editor of morning Tribune and evening Star.

1965: Acquires an interest in Harper's magazine, which loses money over his 15-year tenure.

1968: Succeeds his father as president of newspapers.

1969: Named editorial chairman of newspapers.

1979: Cowles Media buys Buffalo Courier-Express.

1980s: Advocates for building of Metrodome.

1982: Leaves active management of Star Tribune. Star and Tribune merge. Buffalo newspaper closes.

1983: Ousted as chairman and CEO.

1984: Leaves board of directors but continues to manage family trust that controls 60 percent of the company's stock.

1988: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Cowles Conservatory open.

1998: Company, now known as Cowles Media Co., sold to McClatchy Co.

2006: Serves as co-chairman of architecture committee for new Guthrie.

Fall 2011: Cowles Center for Dance in Minneapolis is dedicated.

March 17, 2012: Dies of lung cancer at 82.

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