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  • Legendary Hoosier journalist George O. Witwer dies at age 92
    George Osburn Witwer, publisher emeritus and principal owner of KPC Media Group Inc., died unexpectedly but peacefully the afternoon of Jan. 20, at his home in Key West, Florida. He was 92. A graduate of Yale University, Witwer had a brief stint with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where he met his future brother-in-law and close friend, Ambassador James R. Lilley. He worked for several years on the East Coast as a journalist before becoming editor and general manager of The News Sun, Kendallville, in 1962. He purchased Kendallville Publishing Co. (the forerunner of KPC Media) in 1969, and led the dramatic growth of the company over the years. He retired as publisher in 1996 but remained active on the company’s board of directors. A longtime community leader in Northeast Indiana, Witwer served on numerous civic and community boards and was named Kendallville Citizen of the Year by the Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce in 1998. In 2007, he received the Hoosier State Press Association’s Charlie Biggs Commitment to Community Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Witwer played two key roles in my career. The first occurred after I was fired by the Journal Gazette in 1993, in what turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I went to see Mr. Witwer in Kendallville, explained what had happened at the JG, and he decided to pick up my weekly column, which still runs in KPC newspapers throughout NE Indiana. That, along with Russ Pulliam's publishing my column in the Indianapolis News paved the way for my self-syndication and, in 1994, the beginning of Howey Politics Indiana, which thrives to this day. In 2007, Mr. Witwer funded part of my extraordinary trip to Russia, Ukraine, Albania and London with Sen. Richard Lugar and Sam Nunn, giving me and my readers up front access to the historic Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act. Rest In Peace, George O. Witwer. You were a giant in Hoosier journalism and I will be forever grateful for your timely friendship. - Brian A. Howey, publisher, Howey Politics Indiana
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