About John Cowles, Jr.
John Cowles, Jr. (May 27, 1929 – March 17, 2012) was an American editor and publisher, son of John Cowles, Sr. (1898–1983). Cowles sat on the boards of directors of the The Associated Press and Columbia University's Pulitzer Prizes and had been CEO of Cowles Media Company, founded by his grandfather and until 1998 the parent of the Star Tribune. In 1960, he helped Minneapolis raise US$2.4 million to build the first Guthrie Theater and later helped the city build the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Cowles then supported the Guthrie's demolition in 2006 for the expansion of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden next door to the Walker Art Center.
In a 2006 essay written at the University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Cowles wrote, "The nonprofit sector must reform itself, most notably by initiating some minimum federal standards of behavior and by limiting the lifespan of private foundations to 25 or 30 years so that emphasis is on accomplishment, not process and perpetuation." In 1965, Cowles acquired half-interest in Harper's magazine which during his fifteen-year tenure lost readers and nearly US$2 million. He donated startup funds for MinnPost.com which was founded in 2007.
Cowles died at home of lung cancer on March 17, 2012. He was 82.