Dean Singleton is best known for being the longtime publisher of the Denver Post, but it was his involvement in 4-H that recently earned him accolades from Colorado State University.
Singleton was inducted into Colorado State University’s 4-H Hall of Fame on January 24. The former publisher participated in 4-H and Future Farmers of America while growing up on a cattle ranch in Young County, Texas.
He credits 4-H and FFA with his success at assembling a media empire.
“If it weren’t for the public speaking skills I learned in 4-H, I would still be trying to make a living on that dusty old ranch in Texas,” he said.
Early newspaper career
Singleton was 15 when got his start in the newspaper business writing sports articles for the Graham Leader. Six years later he bought his first newspaper. He purchased The Denver Post in 1987 and eventually built the second largest newspaper company in the United States.
He served as the chairman of the board of directors for the Associated Press and also the Newspaper Association of America.
Today, Singleton owns cattle ranches in Jackson and Grand counties in Colorado.
During his induction celebration, Singleton spoke about how much he learned from his experiences in 4-H. He grew up on a ranch 25 miles outside of Graham (where he attended school) and 4-H and FFA were his primary social outlets.
All his childhood friends participated in 4-H and FFA, he said. His projects included swine, public speaking and demonstration contests.
‘Shaped who I was’
“4-H helped shape who I am, just as 4-H is shaping who you are,” Singleton told the 4-H members who attended the induction ceremony. “When you go on in life you’ll look back at your 4-H years as what really gave you the foundation of what makes you who you are and who you’re going to be. When you compete in the world, whether it’s for a job, a career, a business, you’ll find that your 4-H days gave you the foundation that will make you successful.”
4-H Hall of Fame
The Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame was created in 2010 to promote the value of 4-H by recognizing notable people who were members and attribute their success in life to their experience. In presenting the award, State 4-H Director Jeff Goodwin said, “It’s not what you’ve done for 4-H, but it’s what 4-H has done for you, that’s the qualifier for induction into the Hall of Fame.”
Singleton is the 19th inductee in the Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame. Other inductees include Colorado State University President Tony Frank and CSU professor Temple Grandin. For the complete list and details, visit the website.