Interview with Austin H. Kiplinger

Editor emeritus of The Kiplinger Letter


Vernon Holleman III, CLU, sat down with Austin H. Kiplinger in the Kiplinger Building Museum (H Street, NW, DC) in front of the replica of his father’s office at the Press Club, which includes W.M. Kiplinger’s desk, typewriter, telephone, and photographs. This interview is a great window to both the success of a third generation firm and the emotion and friction that can be a part of such success. It is also a wonderful look at the twentieth century history of both journalism and business, as well as how vastly different our Nation’s Capital is today from when The Kiplinger Washington Editors began.

Notable Discussion Topics:

Among other topics, Austin discusses the following issues with Vernon Holleman III, CLU:

  • Following a legendary figure – Expectations
  • Father-Son management style differences – Generational issues
  • Love for Profession – role and importance
  • The emotion involved in Family Business Succession
  • Perspective and Experience – Gaining the vital ability to actually do the job


Austin H. Kiplinger, editor emeritus of The Kiplinger Letter, has had a journalism career spanning more than five decades as a reporter, broadcast commentator and editor, specializing in business and political affairs. During his college years at Cornell, he was a part-time reporter for the Ithaca Journal and the Associated Press. His full-time reporting career began in 1940 with the San Francisco Chronicle. After World War II, in which he served as a Navy aviator in the South Pacific, he helped launch Changing Times, the nation’s first magazine of personal money management, now titled Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine.

In 1948, Mr. Kiplinger became the front-page daily columnist of the Chicago Journal of Commerce. During the 1950s, he was a Chicago newscaster for the ABC and NBC television networks. He was part of the ABC team of the 1952 political conventions in Chicago. He covered the 1956 conventions with NBC.

After rejoining the Kiplinger Washington Editors, he succeeded his father, W.M. Kiplinger as editor-in-chief in 1961. Mr. Kiplinger is joined in the business by his son, Knight, editor-in-chief and publisher of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine and the Kiplinger Letters.

Mr. Kiplinger is co-author of Kiplinger’s Looking Ahead (1993), America in the Global ’90s (1989), The Exciting ’80s (1979), Washington Now (1975), and Boom and Inflation Ahead (1958).

Maintaining a life-long interest in civic and educational affairs, he is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University, former President of Tudor Place Foundation, former chairman of the Federal City Council and co-chairman of the Leadership Committee for the City Museum of Washington. He serves on the board of the National Symphony Orchestra and as a trustee of the National Press Foundation. He is a 58-year member of the National Press Club.

A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Kiplinger graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University in 1939 and did graduate study in economics at Harvard University. He holds honorary degrees from Union College, Embrey Riddle Aeronautical University, Bryant College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Ohio State University and the University of Idaho.