Former Midwest Publisher Dies

By: Press Release

Gerald (Jerry) Moriarity, born July 28, 1919 in LaCrosse, Wis., died March 1, 2011 at the age of 91 in the Perham, Minn. Memorial Nursing Home.

Jerry was a newspaperman with printer’s ink running in his veins. He worked at four different newspapers, three of which he guided as publisher, in three different states-the La Crosse (Wis.) Tribune, Kewanee (Ill.) Star Courier, Ottumwa (Iowa) Courier, and Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette. During his career he collected dozens of professional awards and special honors. Chief among them were the Illinois Editor of the Year, Iowa Press Association Master Editor-Publisher, the Iowa Newspaper Association Distinguished Service Award, and the National Newspaper Association highest award.

While at the Ottumwa Courier he pioneered newspaper involvement in cable TV. He leased a cable TV station and created an electronic newspaper The “Courier Cable” news which was so unique it drew attention throughout the media industry. While much of his career was spent in executive capacities, he left a legacy of award winning writings and columns behind him. His by-line regularly appeared in the news columns of the papers he directed. In 1973 during the Watergate episode, he generated national attention with his editorial titled “A Plea for Sanity”. It was reprinted in almost 600 papers — reportedly the most widely reprinted editorial of a political nature during the months leading up to President Nixon’s resignation, and led to interviews on National Public Radio, as well as appearances on Cronkite TV News, and C-SPAN. He took great pride in the fact that he had met and interviewed 10 presidents. He later wrote a book recounting some of these interviews and his impressions of the qualities that would make the best President.

He is survived by wife Betty of Perham, Minn. and eight children.

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