Cowles family

▪ American publishing family
      publishing family known for Look and other mass magazines popular in the mid-20th century and for the newspapers it developed in two important regions of the United States.

      John Cowles (b. Dec. 14, 1898, Algona, Iowa, U.S.—d. Feb. 25, 1983, Minneapolis, Minn.) was the son of Gardner Cowles, Sr., a small-town banker who bought the Des Moines Register (Des Moines Register, The) and Leader, the weakest of three daily papers in the Iowa metropolis. John attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1921. He went home to work on what through a merger had become the Register and Tribune, starting in the advertising department and moving on through a wide variety of jobs to learn the trade, finally becoming general manager. In the 1930s and '40s, John Cowles served on the board of directors of the Associated Press, and he also held the position of president of the Audit Bureau of Circulations for four years. John and his brother Mike persuaded their father to approve their purchase of The Minneapolis Star, which was at the time in financial difficulties, and in 1937 John moved to Minneapolis to manage it. He later bought the .

      Active in government affairs, John was a member of the General Advisory Committee of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1962 to 1969.

      Gardner Cowles, Jr., called Mike (b. Jan. 31, 1903, Algona, Iowa—d. July 8, 1985, Southampton, N.Y.), followed his brother John to Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, where he edited the Harvard Crimson. Upon his graduation in 1925, he went home to Des Moines to be city editor of the Register and Tribune. The next year he became news editor and then moved up gradually to be executive editor in 1931. During his tenure the paper came to be the dominant daily in the entire state of Iowa.

      In 1937 Gardner Cowles founded Look magazine, which he operated from Des Moines until 1941, when he moved it to New York. The magazine gave Henry Luce's Life significant competition, but increasing production and distribution costs and competition from television forced its suspension despite healthy circulation in the 1960s. Gardner Cowles was editor in chief and chairman of the board of Cowles Communications from 1937 to 1971.

      Fleur Fenton Cowles (b. Jan. 20, 1910, Montclair, N.J., U.S.) was married to Gardner Cowles, Jr., from 1946 to 1956, and during the marriage she was active in the affairs of Cowles Publications. She had previously been an advertising writer and set up her own business. She wrote a weekly column in the New York World-Telegram and did some work for Look. Her influence led to the introduction of two short-lived magazines, Quick (1949) and Flair (1950–51).

      John Cowles, Jr. (b. May 27, 1929, Des Moines, Iowa), followed the family pattern of attending Phillips Exeter and Harvard, where he graduated in 1951. In 1953 he joined the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Tribune, acquired by his father. He became editor in 1961 and was chairman from 1973 to 1979, resuming active control again in 1982. A recession in the early 1980s forced the merger of the Star and Tribune into one paper. Further losses led to John Cowles's ouster as president and publisher in 1983.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cowles Foundation — Motto Theory and Measurement Formation 1932 Location Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut Director Philip Halie Website …   Wikipedia

  • Cowles Mountain — as seen from San Diego. A remnant of the S can be seen near the summit. Elevation …   Wikipedia

  • Cowles Publishing Company — This article is about the Cowles Publishing Company of Spokane, Washington. For other persons and entities named Cowles, see Cowles (disambiguation). Cowles Publishing Company Type publisher, manufacturer, media Genre newspaper, paper, television …   Wikipedia

  • Cowles Media Company — (1935 to 1998) was a newspaper, magazine and information publishing company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States. The company operated Cowles Business Media, Cowles Creative Publishing and Cowles Enthusiast Media units. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Cowles, Nebraska —   Village   Location of Cowl …   Wikipedia

  • Cowles House (East Lansing, Michigan) — Michigan State University campus Cowles House Use President s House Style …   Wikipedia

  • Cowles — This interesting and unusual surname is of Irish and early medieval English origin, and has two possible sources. The first source is from a patronymic form of the surname Coole, which is either the Anglicization of the Gaelic MacCumhaill , son… …   Surnames reference

  • Betsy Mix Cowles — (February 9, 1810 ndash; July 25, 1876) was an early leader in the United States abolitionist movement. She was an active and influential Ohio based reformer, and was a noted Feminist and an educator. She counted among her friends and… …   Wikipedia

  • Osborne Cowles — Ozzie Cowles Sport(s) Basketball Biographical details Born August 25, 1899(1899 08 25) Place of birth …   Wikipedia

  • May Louise Cowles — May Louise Cowels May Louise Cowels Born September 25, 1892(1892 09 25) Sibley, Kansas, U.S. Died January 11, 1978 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.