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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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GILLIGAN, Amy. (Dubuque, IA-- ). Effective January 1, 2017 Amy Gilligan became the first woman to serve as the executive editor of the TELEGRAPH HERALD and the first native Dubuque resident to hold the position in ninety years. She succeeded Brian E. COOPER. (1)

Gilligan joined the Telegraph Herald as a copy editor in 1990. She then held several newsroom leadership positions with the newspaper including six years as city editor and eight and one-half years as managing editor. In the twenty years prior to becoming executive editor, Gilligan wrote a humor column and wrote two books, "The Dog Barely Licked Your Chicken...and Other Things I've Actually Said" and "I've Got 4 Teenagers, You Can't Scare Me," which were collections of those columns. (2) She has been credited with being one of the first to use the word "google" as a verb when, as city editor in 2001, she asked readers, "Have you been googled yet." (3)

A member of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board for over twenty years, Gilligan won several state and regional awards for editorial writing in collaboration with Brian Cooper. She was honored as the 2015 Chamberlin Fellow by the Newspaper Foundation and the journalism school of her alma mater, Iowa State University. (4) In 2016 she was named Master Columnist by the Iowa Newspaper Association. (5)

In the community, Gilligan served on the board of directors of HOSPICE OF DUBUQUE with her husband, Judge Michael Shubatt; contributed significantly to the Soaring Capital Campaign of the HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS; and participated in the Mellon Sisters 5K Run Against Violence. (6)



1. "Gilligan Named TH Executive Editor," Telegraph Herald, December 7, 2016, p. 3A

2. Ibid.

3. Arthur, Charles. "Google and Sweden in War of Words Over Ogooglebar," The Guardian, March 27, 2013. Online: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/mar/27/google-sweden-ogooglebar

4. "Gilligan Named TH..."

5. Better Newspaper Contest Results. Online: https://inanews.com/foundation/contests/results/

6. a. http://www.hospiceofdubuque.org/cms-view-page.php?page=leadership b. http://www.holyfamilydbq.org/support/capital-campaign-thank-you c. http://www.kauderraceresults.com/2014_Mellon_Sister_s_5K.html