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Austin H. Kiplinger


Austin H. Kiplinger

Austin H. Kiplinger (born September 19, 1918, in Washington, D.C.) is a journalist[1] and Washington civic leader who lives in Poolesville, Md. He is the son of W. M. Kiplinger, the founder of Kiplinger Washington Editors, publishers of The Kiplinger Letters and Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.

Kiplinger started his journalistic career began as an office boy for The Kiplinger Washington Letter while a student at Western High School in Washington, D.C. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University,where he was active in student government, gained prominence in a movement seeking to make ROTC voluntary, and led intercollegiate student forums concerned about the rise of Fascism in Europe. He worked as the Cornell campus stringer for the Ithaca Journal, with some of his stories picked up by the Associated Press wire in New York State. He was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, Telluride Society and Quill and Dagger senior men's honorary society.

Following his graduation in 1939, Kiplinger did a year of graduate study in economics at Harvard, then became a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. He enlisted to train as a naval aviator in 1942 and flew numerous combat missions off carriers in the Pacific during World War II. In December 1944, he married Mary Louise "Gogo" Cobb of Winnetka, Ill. In 1946 he moved to Chevy Chase and went to work for Kiplinger Washington Editors, helping found, with his father, 'The Kiplinger Magazinethe following year. (It was renamed Changing Times in 1949.)

In 1948, he moved to Chicago to write a daily front-page column for the Chicago Journal of Commerce. In 1950, while doing his column, he also began an evening business news program on WGN-TV, which was possibly the first daily TV segment devoted largely to business news. In 1951 he left the Journal of Commerce and began hosting a national evening radio news program for the ABC network, and later became a TV reporter and anchor for ABC's Chicago affiliate (WBKB-TV) as well. In 1952 he covered the national political conventions in Chicago as part of an ABC television team that included Martin Agronsky and Pauline Frederick. He moved to NBC (WNBQ) in 1955. While in Chicago, he also helped create and anchor "Impact," a live weekly news feature program that pioneered the TV "news magazine" format later made famous by "60 Minutes."

In 1956, he returned to Kiplinger Washington Editors. In 1961, he succeeded his father as editor-in-chief of the Kiplinger Letters and Changing Times. The magazine, today edited by his son Knight (who is president and chairman of KWE),is the longest continually published personal finance publication in the United States. His older son, Todd (1945-2008), was vice chair of the KWE board.

In addition to his journalism career, Kiplinger followed his father’s lead as a collector of Washingtoniana--historical prints and photographs depicting the history of Washington, D.C. He championed the creation of a city museum for the District of Columbia. The library at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is named in his honor. In 2011 the 5,000-piece Kiplinger Washington Collection was pledged to several Washington area museums, with most of it (4,000 graphic works) going to the Historical Society and other portions going to Mount Vernon, the National Portrait Gallery and President Lincoln's Cottage at Soldiers Home.

Kiplinger is chairman emeritus of the Cornell University Board of Trustees and a trustee or past trustee of the Tudor Place Foundation, the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Press Foundation, Washington International Horse Show and Federal City Council, among other civic commitments.

in 1958 Kiplinger and his wife restored Montevideo, an 1830 home in Seneca, Md., and the centerpiece today of a 400-acre working farm near the Potomac River. Long active in farmland preservation, he was the first Montgomery County, Md. landowner, in 1989, to put most of his land into a new county easement program, under which development rights were sold to the county and property taxes reduced. The historic house and 25 acres are owned today by his son Knight, while Austin retains ownership of most of the farmland.

Awards and Honors

In 1997 the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation awarded Kiplinger its Lone Sailor Award for his naval service.


External links

  • Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. website
Academic offices
Preceded by
Jansen Noyes, Jr.
Chairman of Cornell Board of Trustees
Succeeded by
Stephen H. Weiss

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