MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Klobuchar, an intrepid son of the Iron Range who with grace and puckish wit chronicled the lives of ordinary and fabled Minnesotans in a journalism career spanning more than four decades, most of it as a columnist for the Star Tribune, died Wednesday, May 12, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease at the Emerald Crest care facility in Burnsville. He was 93.
From 1961, when he left the Associated Press to work for the Minneapolis Tribune, until his retirement in 1995, Klobuchar trained an amused and perceptive eye every week on the state's culture, sports and politics. His energetic exploits both in and out of the newsroom made his name a household word in Minnesota long before he became known as the father of Amy Klobuchar, the state's senior U.S. senator.
Jim Klobuchar covered the Minnesota Vikings' first five seasons for the morning Tribune (and briefly, the St. Paul Pioneer Press) before accepting a job with the afternoon Minneapolis Star in October 1965 as a general columnist. He was told to write whatever he wanted, he said later, as long as it wasn't boring or libelous.
It made Klobuchar the Twin Cities' town crier. In an estimated 8,400 columns over the next 30 years — usually four to six dispatches a week — he fluidly and often irreverently captured the joys, sorrows and foibles of people in the metro area and across the state.
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