John Cowles Jr. whose family had a large part in shaping Minneapolis newspapers died of lung cancer Saturday.
Cowles Jr. was a chairman, publisher and editor of two major Minneapolis newspapers, the Tribune and Star, reported the Star Tribune. He was also known as a philanthropist and held influences in Minneapolis politics and art scenes.
According to The New York Times, Cowles Jr. continued to write for the Tribune and the Star, he reported aggressively, covering more art and science in the Minneapolis, while also pushing for civil rights.
In the early 1960s Cowles Jr. persuaded Tyrone Guthrie to build a theater in Minneapolis, and was able to raise 2.2 million to put toward the theater reported the Star Tribune. Guthrie did stay, building the famous nonprofit Guthrie Theater. Cowle was also an advocate for the construction of the Metrodome.
Cowles was born on May 27, 1929, in Des Moines, IA. His grandfather, Gardner Cowles, father John Cowles Sr. and uncle Gardner (Mike) Cowles Jr. all had worked within media publications reported The New York Times.By the 1941 the Cowles family owned the Minneapolis Journal, the Star and the Tribune.
Cowles graduated from Harvard and spent some time at Phillips Exeter Academy. After college he spent two years in the Army, when he came back he worked as a report for the Star and the Tribune. His family owned and worked at them for over half a century, until they sold the conjoined news outlets to McClatchy Company in 1998 reported The Star Tribune.
According to the Star Tribune Cowles was let go in 1982 from the Star and Tribune, but still held a spot on the executive board along with his sister and cousin.
After being let go Cowles was able do everything he enjoyed. He taught an aerobics class, traveled with a dance company, built a women's professional soft-ball league, and opened the Cowles Center, which is dedicated to dance reported The New York Times.
According to the Star Tribune, Cowles left behind his wife, Sage Fuller Cowles; a daughter, Jane Sage Cowles; a stepdaughter, Tessa Flores; two sons, John Cowles Jr. and Charles Cowles; a sister, Sarah Cowles Doering; a brother Russell Cowles; 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.