Longtime Poynter faculty member Paul Pohlman has died

After a brief illness, Poynter senior faculty member and adviser Paul Pohlman, 70, has died.

Pohlman started teaching at The Poynter Institute in 1979 and 10 years later joined the Institute full-time as head of what was then called the Management Center. In the 24 years since, he led leadership programs and coordinated international training. He also consulted and advised as associate dean, interim dean, a valued colleague and in many other capacities.

Friends celebrated Paul’s 70th birthday last June by wearing masks like the one he’s holding in this photo.

Pohlman was part of the Poynter team that helped establish The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg, South Africa. For many years he taught in South Africa as part of the program.

“We think we’ve made a difference [there] — gradual, but certainly progress,” he told the Cornell Report in 1997.

In 1991, Poynter Library Director David Shedden interviewed Pohlman about his life and career:

Before coming to Poynter, Pohlman was director of management development programs and newspaper management education at the University of Chicago, where he also earned a master’s degree in history. His undergraduate degree comes from Cornell College in Iowa.

He is survived by his brother, sister-in-law, four nieces and his extended Poynter family.

Related: Journalists remember Paul Pohlman, ‘a quiet leader who helped countless journalists’

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  • Stan Wearden

    Paul will be missed. He made a great contribution to journalism and to journalism education.

  • csmlibrary

    Remembering Paul Pohlman: I was fortunate to have attended a Poynter course he co-taught for news library managers in 2004. It began with Paul, and the first lesson: leadership. He did so much to make journalism better as well as those that work in it. – L. Montgomery

  • http://www.facebook.com/mementor Tor Bøe-Lillegraven

    Rest in Peace Paul. Your kindness, enthusiasm and stern guidance will be sorely missed.

  • Kimm Ryland

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  • http://twitter.com/MareDemma Mare Demma

    Paul was the Heart of Poynter. He will never be forgotten. I’ll miss him more than I can say. His dedication to Poynter is unmatched. We are heart-broken.

  • http://twitter.com/MMEditor1 Marc Kawanishi

    RIP Paul Pohlman — World class teacher & loving statesman — many of us were impacted by your powerful, enlightening journalism principles. Thank you for being my advocate! Much Love, Doc

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.grimm Joe Grimm

    Sad news about Paul. A very classy and encouraging gentleman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.lammers.589 John Lammers

    A crushing loss. Paul was the epitome of wise counsel. He managed to be both direct and gentle, no easy feat. He’s still in my head, providing guidance. I just wish, dammit, that the Cleveland Indians had given him a world championship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.ahl Jonathan Ahl

    This makes me very sad. Paul was an important person in my development. I only saw him once or twice a year, but lots of phone calls and emails in between.

    I will always remember the dichotomy about him. He had a dizzyingly superior intellect about journalism, and could speak at length about the craft and in ways that stretched my mind. At the same time, he was an affable grandfatherly figure to the point I always expected him to give me a piece of hard candy and tell me everything would be okay.

    Prayers to his family, Poynter, and all the people who he touched. It is a sad day for journalism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.ahl Jonathan Ahl

    This makes me very sad. Paul was an important person in my development. I only saw him once or twice a year, but lots of phone calls and emails in between.

    I will always remember the dichotomy about him. He had a dizzyingly superior mind about journalism, and could speak at length about the craft and in ways that stretched me. At the same time, he was an affable grandfatherly figure to the point I always expected him to give me a piece of hard candy and tell me everything would be okay.

    Prayers to his family, Poynter, and all the people who he touched. It is a sad day for journalism.

  • JimCC

    Paul was a truly wonderful person. He was a fine educator, had a wonderful sense of humor, and was always a joy to be around. Thanks for some great memories, Paul.

  • http://wadeonbirmingham.com/ Wade Kwon

    I was very fortunate to have Paul as an instructor when I attended Poynter. He will be missed.