Michael Maidenberg 

Graduation Year: 1960
Induction Year: 2011
Publisher of Pulitzer Prize winning paper
Vice President of Knight Foundation

Michael Maidenberg was born in Marion General Hospital in 1942. He attended Marion schools, going through Horace Mann, Martin Boots, and Marion High. He attended the University of Michigan, majoring in history and philosophy. As a freshman in Ann Arbor, he heard candidate John F. Kennedy challenged students to make an overseas service commitment in a developing country. After graduating in 1964, he joined the newly-formed Peace Corps, spending two years as a teacher in a school outside Calcutta, India.
After India, he attended the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He received an M.S. with honors in 1967. In 1968 he started a 35-year newspaper career as a reporter at the Detroit Free Press. The Free Press was owned by Knight Ridder Inc. Maidenberg spent his entire career with the company. In 1973, Maidenberg moved to Philadelphia to join the editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He held several positions at the Inquirer, gaining a wide-ranging knowledge of the entire operation of a daily newspaper. In 1980 he moved to Miami to join Knight Ridder's corporate staff. In June 1982 he headed north to Grand Forks, North Dakota to become publisher of the Grand Forks Herald.
In April 1997, he led the Herald to a new plateau of service to its community when the newspaper published every day despite the city being flooded, the newspaper's building burned and most of its employees, including Maidenberg himself, driven from their homes. For these efforts, the Grand Forks Herald was awarded the 1998 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service. Maidenberg was instrumental in helping Grand Forks re-imagine itself and rebuild as a better place to live. Throughout his years at the Herald, he was active in civic organizations, including the United Way, the YMCA, Boy Scouts, the arts council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation.
As a publisher for 22 years until his retirement in 2003, he demonstrated through word and deed the obligation of a newspaper to cover and critique the community in which it is based, yet always guide it toward becoming a better place to live.
In 2004, Maidenberg returned to Miami, this time as vice president and chief program officer for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He retired from the foundation in March 2009. He is currently doing consulting work for Florida's Collins Center for Public Policy in the field of community building and regional development. He and his wife Kitty live in Coral Gables, Florida. Their three sons and seven grandchildren all live in the San Francisco area.

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