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Al Neuharth Remembered In South Dakota

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South Dakotans had their chance to say goodbye to a man who revolutionized the media industry.


Al Neuharth, a Eureka native, died in April.  But, a man who spent the first part of his life in South Dakota, even from the grave, had one last chance to say goodbye.


“When I used to write editorials, picking on those kids in “cow college” in Brookings,” joked Neuharth in a recorded message to the University of South Dakota.


Al Neuharth continued to make people smile.


Just across campus from the media center named after him, hundreds gathered to remember the extremely successful career and life of Al Neuharth. And he knew South Dakota helped make him the man he was.


“So many of you here on the sacred soil of South Dakota, where I was born,  have helped make my life so much fun that I kept staying around for more,” said the recording of Neuharth.  


His grandchildren and children told stories of the gentler side of Al Neuharth.


“He taught all of us kids that we can do whatever we want, as long as we dream big, fight like hell, and believe in ourselves,” said Dani Keusch.  


Senator John Thune said, in a desert of fakeness, Al Neuharth was an oasis of sincerity.


“Sometimes you deal with people who try to be things that they aren't. Politics can sometimes be a field where you don't see people’s real side, there's not a lot of authenticity. With Al, what you saw is what you got,” said Senator Thune.


Even Tom Brokaw shared his reflection on a fellow South Dakotan.


“We are here today to pay tribute to a giant in our times. Not just in the field of American journalism but also as a member of that great Americana culture, living the American Dream,” said Brokaw.


Al Neuharth, born in Eureka, South Dakota, traveled to countless places, changing the world along the way.


Fighting back tears Al Neuharth had one last thing to say.    


“In a benediction that says it all, about the many marvelous roads I traveled, from South Dakota all across the USA. This land is my land.”  

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