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Joseph A. "Joe" McGowan, Jr. - Diamond Jubilee Outstanding Alumnus
Bachelor of Sciences - 1952 - Journalism
Before age five, Joe McGowan, Jr., had learned to set type. At 13, he was sports editor for the Rock Springs paper; at 15, sports writer for the Cheyenne Eagle. A veteran news executive whose career with the Associated Press since 1955 has taken him to assignments all over the world, McGowan is an internationally respected print journalist. He began with AP as a newsman from 1960-64, then took bureau chief assignments in New Delhi, India; Lima, Peru; Indianapolis, and Boston. He has been Denver Bureau Chief since 1978.
He has covered many of the world's major stories. He was the first American correspondent in Cuba following the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, traveled with JFK to Central American summit meetings, reported the 1965 India-Pakistan conflict and, in Peru, reported on that country's 1968 military revolution and its 1970 devastating earthquake. McGowan's career is also marked by his encouragement of education. He has lectured at the University of Denver, University of Colorado in Boulder, Boston College, Indiana University, and at UW. As bureau chief, he has been instrumental in launching the careers of young journalists, many of whom have become prominent correspondents and bureau chiefs. Colorado University awarded him the Big Hat Award for his outstanding contribution to journalism education, and he's received the Ernest Linford Award of Merit from UW, where he was a 1992 Distinguished Alumnus. Today, he also volunteers in adult education programs in Denver, teaching English to Spanish-speaking persons. He has been awarded the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association's Award of Merit. He has served on the Denver Press Club's Board of Directors and the Colorado professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.