Journalist and Publisher Austin Kiplinger Dies at 97

A long life and career for the native Washingtonian.

Austin H. Kiplinger, a journalist and publisher who spent 35 years running Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., the personal finance-focused publishing company started by his father in 1920, passed away on Friday at a hospice in Rockville, Md. The cause was cancer that had spread to his brain. He was 97.

Kiplinger, a native Washingtonian, got his start in journalism at the age of 18, when he was a stringer for the Ithaca Journal while attending Cornell. After Cornell, he spent time working as a general assignment reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. His early career would be interrupted when he enlisted for service during World War II, flying bombers for the Navy.

After the end of the war, Kiplinger went to work at his family’s company, launching Kiplinger Magazine with his father. The magazine still continues, currently under the name Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. But Kiplinger didn’t stay at the company the first time around, and spent the next eight years working as a print and broadcast journalist in Chicago.

Kiplinger returned to the family business in 1961, working first as the editor in chief of two Kiplinger titles and then becaming editor in chief and board chair of Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., after his father died in 1967. He remained there until his retirement, with his son, Knight Kiplinger, taking the reins in the 1990s.

Kiplinger was also known for his philanthropy, serving as a trustee at his alma mater, Cornell, and trustee and board president of the National Symphony Orchestra.