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Wood, J. Howard (ca. 1901-1988) | Lake Forest College Archives and Special Collections

Name: Wood, J. Howard (ca. 1901-1988)
Variant Name: Wood, Howard
Fuller Form: Wood, James Howard

Historical Note:

J. Howard Wood, who died in 1988 at the age of eighty-seven, was president and CEO of the Tribune Company from 1960 to 1968, and chairman, 1966-70.

Wood began his relationship with the Chicago Tribune as a delivery boy at age 11, Canton, Illinois.  He graduated from Lake Forest College in 1922, attended graduate school in English at Harvard, and then taught in a prep school before joining the Tribune as a reporter in 1925.

Working in the paper's financial area, he rose to lead that section, to turn his skills to financial management at the Tribune under long-time publisher Col. Robert R. McCormick, and then five years after McCormick's death in 1955 to become publisher and corporate leader of the Tribune Company.

Wood is credited with building the Tribune Company into a modern media firm, following the lead of Colonel Robert McCormick who had embraced radio in the 1920s.  Under Wood, WGN-TV built a new Chicago headquarters and other stations were added as well. 

He married Ruth Hendrickson in 1928, a 1921 Lake Forest College graduate.  The Woods lived in east-central Lake Bluff after 1940, and raised their family there.

Sources: Heise, Kenan.  "J. Howard Wood, Former Publisher, Ex-Chairman of Tribune Co.," Chicago Tribune, November 1, 1988.
Note Author: Arthur H. Miller, Archivist and Librarian for Special Collections, amiller@lakeforest.edu

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