Dow L. Richardson


Honorary Degree (1982)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Kokomo
Presenter: John William Ryan
Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1975)
B.A., 1928


In his fifty years as a distinguished newspaperman and editor, Dow L. Richardson has exemplified the highest ideals of journalism. He has also been one of Indiana University's most devoted alumni and staunchest supporters.

Dow Richardson was born in 1905 in Van Buren, Indiana. He earned a B.A. degree from Indiana University in 1928. He continued his studies at Columbia University before accepting a position as staff reporter for the Kokotno Tribune. He was a general assignment reporter until 1946, when he became managing editor of the paper. In 1947 he was named Editor of the Kokomo Tribune, a position he held for the next 23 years. He retired from the editorship in 1970, but has continued as editor of the editorial page and chief editorial writer, thereby influencing and interpreting the editorial policies of the newspaper.

Throughout his career Dow Richardson has provided outstanding leadership in the field of journalism, having served as president of the Indiana Associated Press Managing Editors Association and the Indiana Republican Editorial Association, and as a director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Hoosier State Press Association, Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, and the Indianapolis Press Club.

Dow Richardson has received many state and national awards. In 1962 he was named Newspaperman of the Year by the Indianapolis Press Club, and in 1979 he was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame by Sigma Delta Chi. The Indiana State Bar Association honored him with the Liberty Bell Award in 1970 for his defense of the people's right to know and his respect for the law.

During his newspaper career he has contributed articles and poems to many national publications, including the Saturday Review, Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Saturday Evening Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Household Magazine, and Christian Science Monitor.

A colleague described Dow Richardson's standing in the newspaper community when he said: "It's his friendliness and ready smile and wit that have always made Dow Richardson one of the best-liked newspapermen in Indiana, but it's his unswerving dedication to the people's right to know that has earned his colleagues' deep respect."

Dow Richardson's dedication to Indiana University has been unfaltering since he entered the University in 1924 as a student. He became active in alumni affairs immediately upon his graduation in 1928. He served as a member of the President's Alumni Advisory Committee in the 1950s and was president of the Indiana University Alumni Association in 1958-59. He has also been president of the Indiana University Journalism Alumni Association. His long and dedicated service to his alma mater was duly recognized in 1975 when he received the University's Distinguished Alumni Service Award. He was a member of a group of citizens who were instrumental in establishing a Regional Campus in Kokomo, and he has remained a strong advocate of the campus, serving on the IU at Kokomo Foundation Advisory Council.

Dow Richardson is a distinguished and respected leader in his community, and he has given generously of his time to a broad range of community activities. He has been a member of the boards of directors of the Family Service Association of Howard County, the Howard County Comprehensive Health Planning Council, the Kokomo Chamber of Commerce, and the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Kokomo. He has served on the advisory board of St. Joseph Memorial Hospital and as president of the Kokomo Rotary Club. He has been a trustee of the Grace United Methodist Church. From 1965-70 he served on the Indiana Traffic Safety Advisory Commission.

Dow Richardson was married in 1933 to the former Hilda Babb, and they have one daughter, who is a graduate of Indiana University.