Arkansas Business' 'Gone but Not Forgotten' (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

Fay Jones, architect of the Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs, died in 2004.

Each has attracted retirees from around the nation, and the company now manages eight communities, ranging from 900 to 36,000 acres. More than 100,000 families call Cooper communities home.

John Cooper died in 1998.

7. Richard Butler Sr.
It's tough to say whether Richard C. Butler made his name in law or banking.

He worked with the Little Rock School Board to extend the district's time to desegregate its schools, arguing that immediate desegregation would make maintaining viable public schools nearly impossible. The U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled against the school board after only 30 minutes of deliberation.

Butler began working in the banking business not long after, joining the board of directors of Commercial National Bank in 1962. He became president in 1963 and served as chairman from 1968 to 1981.

Butler spent much of his time afterwards as a philanthropist.

Butler, who was ill and did not want to become an invalid, ended his life in 1999 at the age of 89 by jumping into the Arkansas River from the Interstate 430 bridge.

8. John Robert Starr
He posed vested but shirtless squatting on top of a newspaper box with a knife clenched between his teeth.

Thus did John Robert Starr declare to the world that he was ready to wage a fight-to-the-death newspaper war with a much larger, more established paper.

Starr became managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat in 1978 and soon began taking on the Arkansas Gazette. Starr insisted that the Democrat cover news across the state and write in a style accessible to everyday readers.

Starr's confrontational style and determination to beat the Gazette paid off when, in 1991, the Democrat's owner, Walter Hussman, shut down the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. In 1992, Starr resigned from what had become the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Starr died on April 1, 2000.



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