Dolph C. Simons Jr., editor of the Lawrence Journal-World and chairman of The World Company, was awarded The Ralph D. Casey/Minnesota Award at Inland Press Association’s 126th Annual Meeting on Tuesday at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel.
The Simons family owns WorldWest LLC, the parent company of the Payson Roundup, the Steamboat Pilot & Today and the Craig Daily Press.
The Ralph D. Casey/Minnesota Award is presented each year to a publisher, editor or senior newspaper staff member who has a distinguished record of leadership and service in the newspaper industry or at his/her newspaper.
The award is for someone who, like Casey, is an agenda-setter, bringing about change while exemplifying the finest in journalism and community service. In accepting the award, Simons, director of the Inland Daily Press Association from 1963-1966, said, “I am most appreciative to actually receive this recognition. I’m very, very fortunate. I’ve been blessed in many, many ways.”
“All of us in the newspaper business realize it’s nice to get an award and the recognition, but I think we all realize, honestly, that it’s a team affair. I don’t care whether it’s St. Joseph or Lawrence or Chicago or where it might be, Tennessee — if we didn’t have good people and loyal people helping us, we’re in trouble. And I’ve been blessed to have that here in The World Company.”
Simons shared some of the history of his family’s long involvement in newspapers.
“I was also fortunate to have a granddad to start the business. His dad died in the Civil War so he was allowed to homestead out in Kansas. And he came to Lawrence when he was 19 years old with $50 to start a newspaper. And there were seven papers going in Lawrence at that time. He started the eighth with $50.”
Simons has served as director of The Associated Press from 1967-1976; president of the Kansas Associated Press board of directors from 1968-1969; director of the Kansas Press Association from 1966-1969, and president in 1967; trustee of the William Allen White Foundation since 1952 and was president of the board.
From 1972 to 1980, he was as a director of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, which is now Newspaper Association of America.
He also is a former director of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau Inc. and is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.