CLASS OF 2017
Don Wright was born in Meadow Grove, Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 and earned his BA from Denver University in 1949 with a degree in Photography, Political Science and Journalism. After returning to Nebraska as a reporter for the Lincoln Star from 1950 to 1953, Don joined KOLN TV when the station signed on in February of 1953 where he worked for 34 years. Hired as a reporter/photographer, Don used his large format camera to shoot black and white stills that aired on KOLN newscasts. Don shot the first pictures of the infamous 1957-1958 murder spree of Charles Starkweather, with his photos used by KOLN and soon by AP and UPI wire services and several magazines. As KOLN moved to 16mm film to document news, Don learned how to shoot stories and operate the film processing equipment. Don was named Assistant News Director in 1961 and at Don’s behest, KOLN purchased more cameras and hired more photojournalists and reporters to deliver the news with continued leaps in technology. In 1981 Don was promoted to News Director and he continued training his rapidly growing staff. Under Don’s leadership and vision, miles and miles of black and white footage burst into color, and then into video, as he moved KOLN from the darkroom to the video era. Don retired in 1986 and resides in Lincoln with his wife Mary Lou.