Sam Cook retires from Duluth News Tribune

Starting tomorrow, the outdoors page at the Duluth News Tribune will look a little different. Longtime outdoors editor and columnist Sam Cook will retire Friday, April 27. Cook held that post 38 years.

Sam Cook

Sam Cook is a gifted storyteller. His grasp of details makes any story he writes a portal into whatever forest or lake he’s writing about. I think that’s because he makes people part of nature. A bird, a deer, a person. All just subjects in one ongoing story.

Cook has also been very successful in his work. His numerous outdoors books have been local bestsellers. In fact, when my first book was published by a small press in 2008 we set the lofty goal of beating Sam Cook in the Duluth market. We failed of course.

I saw Cook give an educational talk to kids at a writing conference once. He flung himself into a character and had the kids interview him. For anyone paying attention, he was condensing an entire college journalism class into a 50 minute talk that made you laugh.

John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune interviewed Cook for a story last weekend. Myers will be taking over the outdoors page. Cook wrote a quasi-final column last Sunday. Of course, it won’t be his last. Cook will continue his weekly column, so he’s not going away entirely. But his retirement marks the end of an era on the outdoors page.

The DNT reports that a public retirement party will be held from 5-8 p.m. May 10 at the Harbor Side room at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center in Duluth.

I’m glad it won’t be the end of Cook’s column. It’d be hard to give it up entirely. But I’m a little nervous he’ll have more time to write books. Now I’ll never catch up to him.

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