J. Howard Wood Family Papers 1857-1959

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US ILfC SC/047

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J. Howard Wood Family Papers 1857-1959




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Biographical history

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.

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Scope and content

The Wood Family Papers comprises the story of J. Howard Wood as a student at Lake Forest College from 1918-1922 as well as his life as a graduate student at Harvard from 1922-1926. This collection includes maps and town information of where the family lived, genealogical information such as birth, death, and marriage records, family photographs, and hand written as well as typed letters of correspondence. Most important to this collection is Howard Wood’s correspondence with his father (John), mother (Julia), brother (Rob), and sister (Mildred). In these letters, the reader will develop a sense of how close this family was with one another, Howard Wood’s student life and his financial struggles, and his journey into a his career at the Chicago Tribune.

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      Donated by Ann Wood, Washington D.C.

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