DAA 2011: Kent Cooper, LHD’41

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Kent Cooper, LHD’41

Kent Cooper, LHD’41, an innovator of the concept of news distribution, paving the way for the success of modern news services such as the Associated Press. A native of Columbus, Ind., Cooper attended IU until his father’s death forced him to leave and return to his hometown newspaper. While at the Scripps-McRae Press Association, he came up with the idea of distributing news to rural newspaper editors via telephone circuit.

In 1910, Cooper moved to New York as traveling inspector of telephone circuits for the AP and moved up the management ranks to the position of executive director. He developed a mechanism to send photographs by wire and established AP in Britain, eventually breaking Reuters’ monopoly in Europe.

He established four journalism scholarships at IU before his death in 1965.