Journalist Jim Klobuchar, Iron Range native and father of U.S. Senator, dies |

Journalist Jim Klobuchar, Iron Range native and father of U.S. Senator, dies

Journalist Jim Klobuchar, Iron Range native and father of U.S. Senator, dies Photo: Office of Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Updated: May 12, 2021 07:16 PM
Created: May 12, 2021 02:28 PM

Iron Range native and longtime journalist Jim Klobuchar has died at the age of 93.

His daughter, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, reported the death on Wednesday, saying her dad was a champion of those on the outside. Klobuchar was the son of an iron ore miner and began a career as a journalist in Bismarck, later working for the Associated Press before moving to the Star Tribune in 1961.

"My dad went from that hardscrabble mining town of Ely, Minnesota, to travel the world, interviewing everyone from Mike Ditka to Ginger Rogers to Ronald Reagan. He led adventure trips from Minnesota’s bike trails to the mountains of Nepal," Klobuchar said.

"Through his columns my dad told stories of the 'heroes among us,'—ordinary people doing extraordinary things. He used his words to stand up for people. But he also stood up for me, from urging me on to finish a father/daughter ten-day 1100-mile bike trip from Minneapolis to Jackson Hole, to believing that a woman could actually win a Minnesota U.S. Senate seat," she said.

It's estimated that Jim Klobuchar wrote 8,400 columns during his 34-year career at the Star Tribune. He was voted the nation’s "outstanding columnist" in 1984 by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Gov. Tim Walz said we have "lost a giant."

"I feel very blessed that I had the privilege over the last 20 years or so to get to know Jim Klobuchar and spend some considerable time. His stories of mining and of being a veteran were inspiring to me," Walz said during a previously-scheduled news conference moments after learning of the death.

Klobuchar had been public about his struggles with alcoholism and Sen. Klobuchar brought up the issue last year as evidence of the importance of funding for substance abuse treatment.

"His own struggles with alcoholism were very public and he helped others by sharing those stories, as well as how his faith and family and friends helped him on his lifelong journey to redemption and sobriety.

"Even to the end, as he lived the final chapter of his life with Alzheimer's, he was still singing songs and telling incredible stories to my sister Meagan and me. He loved our state. He loved journalism. He loved sports and adventure. And we loved him," Klobuchar said.

Jim Klobuchar will be buried at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis. A public celebration of his life will be announced at a later date. 

Instead of flowers or gifts, the family is asking for donations to the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a scholarship will be created in his name. 



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