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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

LIPPER, George

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

LIPPER, George. (Brockton, MA--Las Vegas, NV, July 19, 2014). Left on the steps of a church as a baby, Lipper was raised by William and Gladys Lipper. He joined the Marine Corps after graduating from high school and was stationed in Japan at the end of WORLD WAR II. Lipper earned his broadcasting degree and then worked at a radio station in Texas before becoming a reporter for KWWL radio and television station in Waterloo in 1963. His reporting helped pass Iowa consumer-protection laws in 1967. He served as the press secretary for Paul Franzenburg during his campaign for governor. When Franzenburg lost, Lipper moved in 1968 to Dubuque to be the assistant city manager, a position he had previously held in Port Huron, Michigan. (1)

In January 1970, Lipper announced his resignation as chief aide to City Manager Gilbert D. CHAVENELLE to become general manager of radio stations KDTH (AM) and KFMD (FM). (2) He held this position until 1984 when he purchased his own radio station in Macomb, Illinois. He campaigned for state representative in the Macomb district, worked as a stock broker, and earned his Series 7 license. He later worked in Des Moines for the Department of Economic Development. "The Lipper Current" was a weekly newsletter of his collections of stories on innovation, capital, and entrepreneurs and his thoughts on the trends affecting our lives.

During his thirteen months in Dubuque city government, Lipper helped draft the human rights ordinance, worked with the firm studying the city's budgeting operation as a pilot study for the State of Iowa, headed the ill-fated north-end annexation project, and helped determine the 1970 budget. Lipper was singled out by the Telegraph Herald as the person most responsible for funding of the DUBUQUE-WISCONSIN BRIDGE. Lipper joined the board of directors of the TELEGRAPH HERALD and the DUBUQUE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

Lipper received the "Man of the Year" award from the Chamber of Commerce in 1978. In 1979 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Civic Service Award from the Chamber for his work in bringing about the construction of the Dubuque-Wisconsin Bridge. (3) In 1982 Lipper and his wife Gloria, received the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD. With J. Bruce MERIWETHER and state legislator Richard Norpel, Lipper began a lobbying campaign for the bridge in 1976. (4) The price at the time was estimated at $37.5 million. The project was approved in 1978 and the bridge opened for traffic in 1982.

See: Gloria LIPPER



1. Fryxell, David, "Lippers Become First Co-Winners of TH's Annual First Citizen Award," Telegraph Herald, December 30, 1982, p. 13

2. Ibid.

3. "Chamber Honors Lipper for Bridge," Telegraph Herald, April 11, 1979, p. 4

4. Fryxell

Obituaries. Telegraph Herald, September 7, 2014, p. 16A

Yager, Alicia. "Man Who Spearheaded Bridge Project Dies," Telegraph Herald, July 23, 2014, p. 3A