John Cowles, Former Star Tribune Publisher, Dies At 82

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The former publisher of the Star Tribune Newspaper is dead.

John Cowles Jr. was 82, and he suffered from lung cancer.

Cowles started as a reporter at the newspaper in the 1950s, he and left active management in 1982.

His family sold the Star Tribune in 1998.

Cowles and his wife, Sage, have quite a legacy of philanthropy. One of the most recent and visible examples of their philanthropy is their gift to help refurbish the Shubert Theater in downtown Minneapolis. The theater is now named the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts.


One Comment

  1. Brett says:

    A good day to celebrate. The Strib is a basketcase of a newspaper, less back then, but to an unbelievable level now. No wonder they are losing money.

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m sorry, but philanthropy isn’t a preserving of the arts. Arts don’t need to eat or require human support and shelter.

    This is a good time to raise this issue. I half expected that he did something kind for people, given his position and connections.

    His place is elsewhere now. I’m doubtful that his contribution matters.

  3. Kathy says:

    This brings to mind a point that is appropriate here, and only the wise might reconsider. I can’t speak to the life of this man, but I knew one who never failed to tell it like it is. Several days before he passed away, he made a point to acknowledge three facts. The first, all of his money couldn’t buy more time. Two, he wasted his life. Three, the gesture of removing his wallet and setting it on our family dining room table as we sat there together, one last time… was an act of asking forgiveness because he loved that more than life and his family. It was too late.

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