Media broker and W.B. Grimes and Co. founder Walter Bell Grimes passed away June 29, 2013 in Arlington, Va. He was 97. Walter was born on Dec. 15, 1915 in Bronx, N.Y. A graduate of Cornell University in 1936, Walter proudly served in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II from 1942 – 1945.
In 1959, he established W.B. Grimes and Co., the national media mergers and acquisitions firm specializing in the sale and acquisition of daily, weekly and shopper newspapers and radio station properties. Walter had “ink in his blood” and as the trade and consumer magazine industry began to emerge in earnest in the 1960s, he transitioned the business to focus on print publications.
Walter retired in 1984, but not before he had sold and appraised over a thousand newspapers in virtually every state in the country and from rural communities to major metro markets. He worked alongside virtually every major newspaper group in the country, and was instrumental in helping several develop their clusters and expand both regionally and nationwide. Within the magazine industry, he handled the sale of numerous national consumer and trade magazines spanning a wide variety of subject areas and markets. Today the company is owned and operated by his son, Larry Grimes, and has offices throughout the country.
An avid reader and writer, Walter was a worldwide traveler and long standing member of the Traveler’s Century Club, reserved for members who have visited 100 or more countries and island groups. He was an active and proud member of the National Press Club, the National Newspaper Association, the Arlington, Va. Optimists and the Cornell Club. His passions included music, theatre, art and politics. He took great pleasure in his daily read of the Washington Post and Washington Times and was a regular contributor to Letters to the Editor.