Bob Wills: Longtime Milwaukee Editor and Open Government Chamption

From a post on by Julie Hunter headlined “Bob Wills, longtime Milwaukee editor and open government champion, dies at 95”:

Bob Wills, longtime editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel and open government champion, died Thursday, July 22.

Born in Colfax, Ill., Wills enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944, serving as an aviation electrician’s mate. After his discharge, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University.

He worked at the Duluth (Minn.) Herald and News-Tribune before joining The Milwaukee Journal as a reporter in 1951. He was an assistant city editor at The Journal in 1962, when it bought the Sentinel from the Hearst Corp., naming Wills city editor of the newly acquired paper. In 1975, he was named editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel, and in 1991, hewas promoted to executive vice president of Journal Sentinel, Inc.

Wills retired in 1993, two years before the newspapers merged into the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

A strong proponent of government transparency, Wills was a founder of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and served as its first president from 1979 to 1986.

Wills also served as a president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Milwaukee SPJ Chapter, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Wisconsin Associated Press. In 2001, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame.

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