Andrews McMeel Universal Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus John P. McMeel dies



“John was one of the most dynamic, energetic and positive people you can meet,” said Andrews. His unwavering optimism, enthusiasm and genuine passion for life – and especially for people – was evident in everything he did. For John, it was all about relationships. He cared deeply, certainly for his family, but also for associates, designers and business partners, making sure everyone felt valued and welcome. “

“John didn’t just build a business, he created a culture,” said Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury. “The creators have enjoyed unprecedented freedom and support from the team that he and his late partner, Jim Andrews, assembled over the years. He was a merry warrior to us and earned the rare honor of being all newspaper editors’ favorite salesperson. His blarney was legendary, but behind it was a deep consideration and respect for the artists he championed. This loyalty was reciprocal; many of us affectionately called him “boss” for decades. He will be sorely missed by all of us. “

“I am not sure I have ever met someone who was more enthusiastic and full of energy for life and work than John,” said Gary Larson, creator of The dark side®. “I admit being a bit withdrawn when I first meet someone, and here is this very lively guy, sparkling in his eyes with a big smile and a strong handshake, welcoming me wholeheartedly into my new one. house as a cartoonist. I might have thought at first that his behavior couldn’t be quite real, but over the years I realized that, no, it was John. He really liked it. the company he was in, cared about others and seemed like an eternal optimist. I think he’s a rare species. Over the years, every time I crossed paths with John, he made me feel like I had just returned from a Siberian prison camp. It was effective, and I will miss him, as well as his glass- half-full attitude to life. “

“John had dreams that we never knew we had come true. He was the dazzling light behind my career and so many others,” said Cathy Guisewite, creator of Catherine. “He changed the pages of comics and everyone who read them forever with the courageous chances he took on our work, the glorious walls of support he built behind us, and his limitless and contagious insistence. for anything and everything to be possible. But John’s best was the way he enveloped each of us with his generous heart and soul, infused us with his deep values ​​and joyful spirit, and made us feel so much more than to be part of a team. He made us part of a family. “

John mcmeel was a dear man who loved the writers and artists he had supported for over 50 years. He believed in us and fostered a work environment that allowed us to be the children that we are, ”said Jim davis, creator of Garfield. “A charming and witty man, he was always armed with words of support, encouragement and inspiration. My wife, Jill, and John will be sorely missed. John mcmeel was wholeheartedly, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and associates. “

Born January 26, 1936, in South Bend, Indiana, Jean was the son of University of Notre-Dame team doctor under football coach Knute Rockne, grows in the shadow of the Golden Dome. It was a lasting influence and helped establish a firm commitment to faith, family, friends and the importance of these relationships, sustained throughout a remarkable life.

After graduation from our Lady in 1957 with a degree in commerce, John enrolled in the law school of Indiana University. After a year in law school, he moved to sales as an assistant manager and national sales manager for Publishers Hall Syndicate in New York City, selling newspaper articles. Whereas in new York, he met and married Susan sykes in 1966.

After several years of publishing and selling newspaper articles in parallel, John and James (Jim) Andrews founded Universal Press Syndicate with their wives, Susan mcmeel and Kathleen andrews, in 1970.

John’s energetic personality helped catapult the company into one of the most influential and successful media companies in the country. As the booming business grew in prestige and revenue, John faced a daunting challenge: the untimely death of his business partner, Jim, in 1980. Undeterred, John overcame his grief and continued to honor Jim’s memory by developing and nurturing their dream. .

The company, now Andrews McMeel Universal, is a multi-faceted media company that includes Andrews McMeel Syndication, the nation’s largest independent newspaper syndicate and a leading provider of digital entertainment; Andrews McMeel Publishing, an industry leader with several New York Times bestsellers, the nation’s leading calendar producer and greeting card division; and Andrews McMeel Entertainment, its film and television division, with many projects underway.

It’s hard to overstate John’s influence on the industry and AMU’s impact on popular culture. Through its shared vision, designer-focused approach, and commitment to excellence, AMU’s features set the tune of the times, with some of the city’s most beloved and recognizable cultural icons. recent memory. The creators, including Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Gary Larson (the Other side), Jim davis (Garfield), Tom wilson (Ziggy), Rupi kaur (milk and honey; the sun and its flowers, welcoming body), dear Abby and Roger ebert, to name a few, have one resource in common: Andrews McMeel Universal, with John mcmeel at the bar. With a remarkable knack for recognizing the potential of creative talent and an exceptional ability to successfully develop it in innovative ways into products and services, John’s legacy continues to inform and entertain millions of people after five decades.

His passion for people, entrepreneurial spirit and journalistic instincts served him well as the media environment continued to evolve, and as the company grew, he ensured that a culture family-oriented is also growing.

A virulent and involved supporter of Kansas City, McMeel was a former board member of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, the William Allen White Foundation Board of Trustees at the School of Journalism University of Kansas, the Board of Trustees of the St. Luke Hospital Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the UMKC. He was a strong advocate of Rockhurst University, through the McMeel Family Gallery featuring framed soundtracks depicting interpretations of learning, leadership and service, and the McMeel Faculty Institute on Service Learning, among other projects.

In addition, McMeel was a co-founder of Christmas in October, an intensive two-day annual renovation project designed to improve the lives of the elderly, disabled and needy in Kansas City.

Thousands of homeowners have benefited from the work of Christmas volunteers over October’s 37-year history.

He was previously a member of the board of directors of the International Press Institute and director of the board of directors of the Federal Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. For his precious work until Christmas in October, the Sovereign Council awarded him the Cross of Merit Pro Merito Melitensi, given to members and volunteers who have done extraordinary work for the Order in the service of the poor and the sick.

Other accolades include recognition as a Caring Institute Fellow (1991), Council on International Relations Award for Community Contributions (1998), Jewish Community Relations Bureau / American Jewish Committee Human Relations Award (2002 ), co-recipient of Rockhurst University Father Van Ackeren Spirit Award (2002), the John J. Sullivan Jr. Foundation Humanitarian Award from the Irish Museum and Cultural Center of Kansas City, and with Susan, the Marion and John Kreamer Award for Entrepreneurship in Volunteer Community Service at UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration (2009). In 2015, the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame named John as the first recipient of its John P. McMeel Distinguished Award, awarded periodically to an individual who has contributed to the advancement of journalism in Indiana.

Jean’s contributions to our Lady were important and lasting. He was a past member of the Advisory Board of the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy and of the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Letters. He established the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies; the McMeel family sponsors the annual Red Smith lecture series; and was honored with Edward W. Sorin Award in 1997, awarded to a distinguished alumnus to commemorate the founder of the university.

In 1981, after Jim’s death, John created the James F. Andrews Endowment and the James F. Andrews Memorial Scholarship Fund with Kathleen to launch and support the Summer Service Learning Program at University of Notre-Dame. Thousands of Andrews scholars across the country have participated in the program since its inception.

Although John was looking forward to an exciting career, his greatest joy was spending time with his family. In addition to Susan, John is survived by three daughters, Maureen McMeel Carroll (Michael); Suzanne McMeel Glynn; and Bridget McMeel Rohmer (Matthew) and nine grandchildren: Wheaton, Elisabeth and Reilly jackoboice; Jean, Anne and Marie-Kate Glynn; and Binford, Amelia, and Naomi Rohmer.

Contact: Kathy hilliard, Vice-president, Marketing
[email protected], 816.581.7497

SOURCE Andrews McMeel Universal


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