Who was Jim Klobuchar? Amy Klobuchar recalls columnist dad as 'champion of those on outside' as he dies at 93

'Through his writing he gave voice to the struggles and triumphs of countless Minnesotans,' wrote the senator


                            Who was Jim Klobuchar? Amy Klobuchar recalls columnist dad as 'champion of those on outside' as he dies at 93
Amy Klobuchar's father Jim Klobuchar was suffering from Alzheimer's (Twitter)

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced on Wednesday, May 12, that her father, longtime newspaper columnist Jim Klobuchar, died at the age of 93. "We lost my dad Jim Klobuchar today at age 93. He loved our state. He loved journalism. He loved sports and adventure. And we loved him," the senator said. The cause of his death is not disclosed, though Amy stated that he was suffering from Alzheimer's.

The senator released a statement on Wednesday, saying, “Throughout his life my dad was a champion of those on the outside. Through his writing he gave voice to the struggles and triumphs of countless Minnesotans. 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.”

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Who was Jim Klobuchar?

Jim Klobuchar was born April 9, 1928, in Ely, Minnesota, his father working long hours in the area's iron ore mines. He completed his graduation from Ely Junior College and the University of Minnesota School of Journalism.

In 1960, Jim was tasked with writing the Associated Press story declaring John F Kennedy the winner of Minnesota's electoral votes. In 1961, he joined the Minneapolis Tribune and started covering the nascent Vikings franchise for four years before briefly joining its competitor Pioneer Press, but returned as a columnist for the Minneapolis Star just months later. Over the next 30 years, he authored an estimated 8,400 columns, the Star Tribune reported. While this included some international travel and brushes with high-profile stars, he became most celebrated for his work covering all aspects of life in the state of Minnesota.

Jim's struggles with alcohol also occasionally made headlines. After a 1993 DWI, the Star Tribune ran an apology letter from him on the front page, and the paper's editor ran a note acknowledging his drunken driving "endangered lives." It prompted him to get sober, Sen. Klobuchar wrote, and after 2 years, in 1995 he retired. Klobuchar has also authored 11 books and was known as a keen adventurer and travel guide.

Sharon Waxman remembered him saying, "Condolences to you, Senator Klobuchar. He was, I am so sure, incredibly proud of his daughter, who did and does him honor. Rest in peace." While one person said, "I'm terribly sorry for your loss, Senator @amyklobuchar. you are in our thoughts and our hearts. I am sure he was incredibly proud of his daughter. how amazing that he was able to see you shine.  



 



 

Garrett Haake tweeted: "Sen. @amyklobuchar's father has passed away at 93. Jim Klobuchar was an old school newspaper man, whom she frequently invoked on the campaign trail. "He loved our state. He loved journalism. He loved sports and adventure. And we loved him," she writes." Sen. Tina Smith said, "Archie and I send our condolences to Amy and all the Klobuchar/Bessler family. I have many memories of Jim Klobuchar with a twinkle in his eye, a joke on his lips, always ready to stir the pot. He was so proud of his family and will be deeply missed."



 



 

Governor Tim Walz said, "Jim Klobuchar’s entire career centered around telling the stories (more than 8,400 of them) of Minnesotans – ordinary and extraordinary, from miners to athletes. My deepest sympathy to my friend @SenAmyKlobuchar and the rest of Jim’s family. His voice will be missed." While one remembered him saying, "He gave the United States one badass US Senator RIP Jim Klobuchar."



 



 

Klobuchar will be buried at Fort Snelling Cemetery in Minneapolis. A public celebration for his life is planned but has yet to be announced. 

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