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Mind Your Obits

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This Week’s Hero: Wallace Allen (1919-2012)

The things you learn from obituaries:

Mr. Wallace Allen had been a long-lasting editor at the StarTribune (three decades) and passed away in December. During his tenure he led the way to “make the paper more accessible to readers.” He seemed to have a focus on words and design, and employed both in his passionate understanding of what a newspaper could accomplish in our culture. At 93, he continued to read the New York Times and the StarTribune daily.

Two bits from Tuesday’s Obituary stand out:

  1. Though he suffered various ailments, he had been able to get around with a walker. On that walker he had this bumper sticker: “Free press. Free speech. Free country.”
  2. And even after decades of editing he continued to edit and write in retirement. Notably, in one of his last assignments editing a newsletter at his assisted living home in Honolulu, he urged his volunteer staff to “to investigate actions by the home’s management.”

So—a commitment to finding and telling truth all the way through.

That is remarkable.

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Written by kirkistan

January 17, 2013 at 6:37 am

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