Joe Cole



  • Took an individual study honors course with the legendary Doug Martin, professor emeritus, researching the history of pioneer Arizona newspaper editors.
  • Worked one summer as a paid employee on the staff of the Tombstone Epitaph when it was a contemporary community weekly newspaper. Covered news and sports, wrote news articles and editorials, took photos, edited and laid out the paper in the absence of the editor and publisher for six weeks.
  • Was editor in chief of a special color Diamond Jubilee edition of The Arizona Wildcat for the University of Arizona’s 75th anniversary of founding.
  • Served in various Wildcat staff positions as an undergraduate; was editor in chief as a senior.
  • Taught in a UA J-school summer program for high school students.
  • Received Alex Parker Award as Reporter of the Year in 1959.
  • Won Donald Still Award for Highest Distinction in 1960 for scholarship and outstanding service in college journalism on The Arizona Wildcat in junior and senior years.
  • Was named Outstanding Independent Man on campus as a senior.
  • Was selected for Blue Key senior men’s honorary and “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.”


  • Served 26 years at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix in various capacities from reporter to assistant managing editor, including farm editor, state editor, assistant city editor and financial editor and columnist.
  • Was one of six recipients of the Russell Sage Foundation Fellowship in Social Science Reporting in at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1968-69.
  • Led the conversion of the newsrooms of both the Republic and The Phoenix Gazette from typewriters, copy paper, pencils and paste pots to computer terminals.
  • Headed the Republic’s pioneering entry into electronic publishing in the mid-1980s, long before the Internet, with R&G Cable and Teleguide, the former offering newspaper-content-based cable television channels and the latter a network of terminals throughout the Phoenix metro area providing  news, tourist- and consumer-oriented information and advertising on a demand basis.
  • Was a member of Sigma Delta Chi and an officer of the local chapter.
  • Resigned from the Republic in 1988 to become vice president, corporate communications, of Ramada Inc., a New York Stock Exchange-listed company operating hotels, restaurants and casinos.
  • As Ramada VP, corporate communications, managed the company’s communications with the media and the financial community as Ramada underwent reorganization and became Aztar Corporation, also publicly held, retaining Ramada’s gaming business and eventually also becoming a NYSE company.
  • Was active in the National Investor Relations Institute, professional organization for corporate communications officers, and its Arizona chapter, serving on the chapter board  in various offices including president.
  • Retired from Aztar when the company was acquired by private investors in 2008.


  • Served on the board, eventually as president (1976-77), of the Phoenix chapter of the UA Alumni Association.
  • Is a Life Member of the association.


2 thoughts on “Joe Cole”

  1. Joe, congratulations. My eyes and attention stopped when I came to the line about converting the newsrooms to computers. I was with the group that included Frank Lopez, Stu Jenkins, Barry Burkhart and a couple of others who went to Sacramanto to learn the SI system. Ahh, memories.

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