Jean Gannett Hawley and later years
The tradition and passion for publishing and the newspaper business continued with Guy and Anne’s third child, Jean. In 1954, Guy sent her on the Editors Tour behind the Iron Curtain to gain more writing experience.
The tour was arranged by newspaper owner James Wick, and included 15 other newspaper and radio station editors and owners. This was one of the first times that the Soviet Union had admitted U.S. reporters since 1946. Upon her return, Jean compiled her dispatches into a publication called European Adventure.
When her father died suddenly upon her return in 1954, Jean took over Guy Gannett Communications. Jean led the way for women in the newspaper industry. In an article in Portland Magazine in 1986 she said, “There weren’t any friends who did understand what it was like to go to work everyday in a man’s world. … I was stimulated by what I was doing, but it was indeed very difficult for women.”
Jean held the same passion for publishing and media as her father, and her grandfather before him. And like her father, Jean spoke clearly about the values she held as a publisher. In a speech on World Press in the Press in the late 1950s, Jean said: “We must be informed in order to keep the freedoms which are so precious to us all.”
After several more decades of expansion around the country, Guy Gannett Communications sold its print and media holdings in 1998.