Those We Honor

You’ll find more than just fishing celebrities in this list. One can make a significant impact
on the lives of many without ever being well known. It is important to honor all of
those who had a great influence on the great sport of fishing, whether famous or not.
Corporate advances tend to be much more visible to us. For it’s their products that
shape the evolution of the sport of fishing.

Jim Peterson

Jim Peterson

Inducted 2000

Jim Peterson grew up near Milaca and his family owned a cabin on Lake Mille Lacs for many years. Jim came to the Twin Cities in the late 1930s to play football for the University of Minnesota where he attended journalism school. He was an All-American tackle for the Gophers in 1941.

Because of bad knees from playing football and a case of asthma, Peterson didn’t fight in World War II like his brothers. Instead, he covered some of the war effort through his reporting at the Star Tribune. When editors realized Peterson’s passion for football, he went to work in the sports department.

After graduating from the university in 1943, Peterson worked as a reporter with the Star Tribune where he covered sports. Following a lengthy career in the sports writing department at the Star Tribune, Peterson left the paper and started the regional outdoors sports paper Outdoor News in 1968. He served as editor and publisher of the newspaper until selling it to current Publisher Glenn Meyer in 1987.

“Jim was one of a kind. He touched a lot of people through his writing over the years,” a colleague said upon hearing of Peterson’s passing. “All sportsmen and women in this state owe him a debt of gratitude for the time, and frankly, the life he dedicated to Minnesota’s outdoors scene.”

Following the sale of Outdoor News, Peterson retired and lived a quiet lifestyle. Though he frequently attended the Fur, Fin and Feather Club meetings in Crystal and Golden Valley, of which he was a lifelong member, Peterson mostly was content to spend his late years fishing. He had perpetually bad knees, and poor health ultimately confined him to a nursing care facility in 2002. Those who knew the frail Jim Peterson later in life probably didn’t realize that Jim was a big man in his younger days.

In 2000, the Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota recognized Peterson’s work on the state fishing scene by inducting him into its inaugural class. “I’ve been able to make a good living and been able to enjoy every minute of the outdoors,” Peterson said at his induction. “I got to travel all over the North American continent fishing and got paid for it.”

James Theodore Peterson passed away peacefully in his sleep at age 83. He is survived by several siblings, a granddaughter, and several nieces and nephews. Steve Peterson said Jim would always remain most proud of his newspaper work and his founding of Outdoor News.