Anderson, Donald Wells, 1900-

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Donald W. Anderson was a Wisconsin newspaper publisher who organized the purchase of seven Montana newspapers by Lee Enterprises in 1959. They purchased the newspapers from the Anaconda Co., which, at that time, was owner of the state's largest mining industry and its biggest newspaper publisher. The papers, Montana Standard in Butte, the Butte Daily Post, the Missoulian, the Billings Gazette , the Helena Independent Record, the Anaconda Standard, and the Livingston Enterprise, were purchased for $5.2 million. This purchase freed the major newspapers of Montana from the control of the Anaconda Company, which had profoundly influenced the content and editorial opinions of the papers. Anderson, a Gallatin county native, became president of Lee Newspapers of Montana when the papers were purchased and ran the company from the Madison, Wisconsin headquarters. Anderson was also publisher of Lee's Wisconsin State Journal in Madison.

Anderson began his reporting career in Madison in 1923 as a humor columnist. He became city editor in 1925, Sunday editor in 1926, managing editor a few months later, and business manager and assistant publisher in 1933. He became publisher in 1942 and remained chief executive for 26 years. He was vice president of Lee Enterprises and a member of the decision-making executive committee at the time of his retirement. In addition to his newspaper work, Anderson was an avid traveler and wrote a book recounting a trip around the world in 1954. He received many awards, including one from Sigma Chi for his contributions to journalism and literature in 1963. Anderson died on April 26, 1978, in Madison of Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 77.

From the guide to the Donald W. Anderson Papers, 1941-1971, (Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Anderson, Donald Wells, 1900-. Papers, 1890-1972. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Wisconsin Territorial Centennial Commission. Records, 1936 and 1961. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Donald W. Anderson Papers, 1941-1971 Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adler, Emanuel Philip, 1872- person
associatedWith Adler, Philip David, 1902- person
associatedWith Bohrod, Aaron. person
associatedWith Bowles, Chester B., 1901- person
associatedWith Evjue, William Theodore, 1882-1970. person
associatedWith Gardner, Erle Stanley, 1889-1970. person
associatedWith Lee Enterprises corporateBody
associatedWith Lee Newspapers of Montana corporateBody
associatedWith Lee Syndicate. corporateBody
associatedWith Loomis, Lee P., 1884- person
associatedWith Madison Newspapers, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Matson, Roy L., 1908-1960. person
associatedWith Morrison, Richard person
associatedWith Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994. person
associatedWith Proxmire, William. person
associatedWith Seaton, Frederick A. person
associatedWith Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944. person
associatedWith Wisconsin Territorial Centennial Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
World War, 1939-1945--Journalists
World War, 1939-1945--Censorship
Newspaper publishing--Montana
American newspapers


Birth 1900



Ark ID: w6vx24dp

SNAC ID: 24440850