J. Martin Wolman
Inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2004
J. Martin (Murph) Wolman served the newspaper profession with great distinction for more than 50 years. He began his newspaper career as an 11-year-old street hawker in Madison, and continued working several jobs gaining experience that few in the industry have.
He began as a newsboy and mailroom stuffer in 1932, a copy boy and cub reporter in 1936, and became business manager when the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times formed Madison Newspapers, Inc. in 1948. He then went on to become general manager of MNI in 1964 and publisher of the State Journal in 1968, a leadership position he held until his retirement in 1984. During his tenure with MNI, he led the WSJ to become the second largest daily in Wisconsin.
Murph’s career was always marked by active involvement and sincere generosity. Professionally, he was a member or officer of the old Wisconsin Daily Newspaper League, the Inland Daily Press Association, the National Newspaper Association, the American Newspaper Association, the American Newspaper Publishers Foundation, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, and the Associated Press and United Press International Associations. He received distinguished service awards from both the WNA (1982) and the Inland Daily Press Association (1987).
One of his lasting achievements was his nurturing of his newspaper’s Empty Stocking Club. He built this program into an industry-wide success story that has collected and distributed millions of dollars and thousands of toys to needy children and youth causes, mainly during the Christmas holiday.