Inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2018
O’Leary is a courageous, driven and fiercely committed leader dedicated to improving both her community and the newspaper industry.
As quietly and humbly remarkable as anyone you’ll meet, O’Leary typifies the ideal for a community newspaper publisher. She cares deeply about her community, and for almost 50 years, she has gone above and beyond in lending her labor and talents to make it a better place to live and work.
O’Leary is the embodiment of a servant leader, giving her time, talents and money to numerous organizations throughout the newspaper industry and Wisconsin. Many local groups have benefited from O’Leary’s generosity, but her greatest contribution is revealed each week through her expanded family of newspapers.
Unexpectedly widowed in 1997, O’Leary continued the commitment to courageous and informed journalism practiced by her late husband, J.A. Her publications, routinely recognized statewide and beyond for editorial excellence, are outstanding examples of what community journalism can and should represent. And they are particularly praiseworthy for the strong, independent editorials that prompt accountability and foster growth.
In an industry typically dominated by men, Carol has been a terrific role model for other women — her daughter and fellow publisher Kris O’Leary, in particular — and the industry as a whole.