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North Dakota newspaper legend Gene Carr dies at 85

BAGLEY, Minn.--Gene Carr, a man who dedicated his life to community newspapers in North Dakota and Minnesota, died Saturday. He was 85. Carr led North Dakota Newspaper Association for 15 years. Before and after his time at NDNA, Carr and his wife...

Gene Carr
Gene Carr

BAGLEY, Minn.-Gene Carr, a man who dedicated his life to community newspapers in North Dakota and Minnesota, died Saturday. He was 85.

Carr led North Dakota Newspaper Association for 15 years. Before and after his time at NDNA, Carr and his wife Adele owned and operated several local newspapers and invested themselves in each community they lived. He also taught journalism classes at the University of North Dakota for a time.

Current North Dakota Newspaper Association Executive Director Steve Andrist was a UND journalism student while Carr was teaching and remembers him as a "meat and potatoes newspaper man."
"He was a consummate community newspaper guy," Andrist said. "He spent his whole career in that business."
Carr was born in Grand Forks in 1931 and was raised in Warren, Minn. He graduated from UND, where he was the editor of the Dakota Student.

After graduation, Carr took a job as the editor of the Oklee Herald. He fought in the Korean War, and then returned to editing the Oklee Herald. Carr then went on to serve as the editor of the Mound (Minn.) Pilot.

In 1961, he and his wife purchased the Hillsboro Banner. The Carrs also would purchase the Hatton Free Press and Steele County Press in Finley. They sold the publications in 1971, when Carr became the executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, a role he would hold until 1985. He was the longest serving executive director of the organization.

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Carr also served as chairman of the American Newspaper Advertising Reps Association and owned the Thirteen Towns newspaper in Fosston, Minn., from 1988 to 1997.

He was remembered as an active member of his many communities. Over the years, Carr sang in church choirs, served on the Hillsboro City Council and was president of the East Polk County Heritage Society.

Carr is survived by his four children, six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, his brother and his sister. His funeral will be held Friday at Hope Lutheran Church in Fosston, Minn.

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