#kiplinger personal finance
The New York Times
Austin Kiplinger, Co-Founder of a Personal Finance Magazine, Dies at 97
November 23, 2015
Austin H. Kiplinger, who with his father started what is now Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and expanded the family’s financial publishing company into a $100-million-a-year enterprise by the late 1990s, died on Friday in Rockville, Md. He was 97.
The cause was brain cancer, said his son Knight the editor in chief and president of the company, Kiplinger Washington Editors.
Mr. Kiplinger’s father, W.M. Kiplinger (1891-1967), started the company in Washington in 1920 and began publishing an economics newsletter in 1923. In 1947, he and Austin Kiplinger started Kiplinger’s Magazine, which was billed as the first personal financial advice publication for American families.
It was reincarnated as Changing Times and finally as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, a monthly. The company continues to publish The Kiplinger Letter, a widely read weekly business and economic forecasting publication, as well as tax and agriculture newsletters.
After his father’s death, Austin Kiplinger and his sons expanded the company to embrace a website, books and DVD guides and seminars. His own sons inherited the company’s day-to-day management about 15 years ago, but Mr. Kiplinger, as editor emeritus and nonexecutive board chairman, continued to go to his office regularly until about a month ago.
Austin Huntington Kiplinger was born in Washington on Sept 19, 1918. His father was a former economics correspondent for The Associated Press. His mother was the former Irene Austin.
The younger Mr. Kiplinger knew early on that he wanted to become a journalist, but he also demonstrated entrepreneurial instincts. When he was 11, he wrote in Washington History magazine in 2001, he and a friend happened upon the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, where they discovered that adults were not admitted unless accompanied by a child. Austin and his friend offered themselves for a quarter a customer.
He graduated from Cornell University in 1939 with a bachelor’s degree in government after working as a campus correspondent for The Ithaca Journal. He then took a job as a reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle rather than go to work for his father’s company, because, he told Washingtonian magazine, he did not want to be a “hothouse flower.”
After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy and wound up piloting torpedo bombers in the South Pacific, earning the Air Medal. He was discharged as a lieutenant.
After helping his father inaugurate Kiplinger’s Magazine, he joined The Chicago Journal of Commerce, where he wrote a front-page daily business column and hosted a 15-minute business news television program.
Mr. Kiplinger worked for the ABC and NBC television affiliates in Chicago before rejoining the family firm in 1956. When his father died, he became editor in chief and board chairman. He co-wrote books, with his father and his son Knight, and was president of the Kiplinger Foundation.
His wife, the former Mary Louise Cobb, died in 2007. His son Todd died of cancer a year later. In addition to his son Knight, he is survived by six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and his companion, Bonnie Barker Nicholson.
Mr. Kiplinger was a benefactor of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Historical Society of Washington and other cultural institutions in the nation’s capital. He was a trustee of Cornell for more than 50 years
As the university’s trustee board chairman in the mid-1980s, he opposed complete divestiture of the university’s investments in American companies doing business in South Africa. Rather, he supported targeted investment in the most progressive companies.
As a civil rights advocate, Mr. Kiplinger joined the 1963 March on Washington as part of a fair-housing delegation from Montgomery County, Md.
In 1978 he intervened to avoid what might have been an international incident when Mstislav Rostropovich, the Russian cellist, whom he had helped recruit as conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, joined striking musicians at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where they were about to be arrested for picketing on federal property.
To prevent an embarrassing arrest of Mr. Rostropovich, a human rights advocate, Mr. Kiplinger personally urged the interior secretary to intercept the park police before they could make the arrest. Mr. Rostropovich was spirited off to the Kiplingers’ Maryland farm for the weekend.
Correction: November 25, 2015
A headline on Tuesday with an obituary of Austin Kiplinger, a publishing executive, misstated his role in the company founded by his father, W.M. Kiplinger. He was co-founder of Kiplinger s Personal Finance magazine, not co-founder of the magazine s parent company, Kiplinger Washington Editors.