Michael Gartner is an Iowa author, journalist, lawyer, businessman, and third generation newspaperman. Gartner was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1938. He received his BA. from Carleton College and J.D. from the New York University School of Law. He served as a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He holds honorary degrees from Simpson College, Drake University, Grandview College, Iowa Wesleyan University and James Madison University in Virginia.
Over his long career in journalism he has served a variety of roles in the news media field:
- Wall Street Journal-Copy Editor and Page One Editor, 1960-1974
- Des Moines Register- Executive Editor and President, 1974-1985
- Gannett Company and the USA Today -General News Executive, 1985-1986
- Louisville Courier-Journal and Times- Editor, 1986-1987
- NBC News- President, 1988-1993
- American Society of Newspaper Editors - President, 1988-1993
- The Daily Tribune, Ames, Iowa- Chairman, Editor, 1993-1999
- Big Green Umbrella Media, (formerly Greater Des Moines Publishing Co); publisher of Cityview, an alternative weekly newspaper in Des Moines, Iowa), co-owner, 2003-present
In 1997, Michael Gartner won the Pulitzer Prize for editorials about community issues that he wrote for the Daily Tribune, Ames Iowa.
Michael Gartner has volunteered his time to serve Iowans in a variety of public service capacities. From 2000 to 2005, he was chairman of Vision Iowa, the state board which provided communities funding for building recreation, education, cultural and entertainment facilities in the state including such projects as the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. In 2005 Gartner was appointed to the Board of Regents by Gov. Thomas J. Vilsack. (The Board of Regents oversees the state’s three public universities, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.) He served on the Board of Regents from 2005-2011 and was President of the Board from 2005-2007.
He has been chairman and co-owner of the Iowa Cubs baseball team since 1999.
Gartner is the author of several books including Outrage, Passion, and Uncommon Sense which explores issues and events of American history as seen through newspaper editorials over more than 150 years. The book was published by the National Geographic and the Newseum, a Washington, D. C., museum of which he is a trustee. He is also the author of the book, Advertising and the First Amendment. As a First Amendment advocate, he served on the board of advisers of the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum at Vanderbilt University and the Freedom Forum’s Newseum. Michael Gartner received the 2014 Bill Monroe Free Press Champion Award for promoting and showing by example the benefits of transparent government in Iowa.
The Michael Gartner and his wife live in Des Moines, Iowa and also have a residence in New York City.
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