Remembering Bob Schwab

ColoradoBiz lost a meaningful part of its past this week. Former editor Bob Schwab passed away.

Born and raised in Chicago, Bob Schwab was an inveterate newspaper man turned magazine editor. If he had his druthers, he’d probably have lived a decade earlier, been a Mike Royko contemporary at the Sun-Times, or Trib, and retired on a pension like those before him.

He certainly belonged. Bob was a talent, a working man’s writer and journalist who put in the time and earned the right later in life to be a columnist and editor, to have an opinion. He was passionate – and large – 6-foot-3 of irresolute blond hair and white-beard. His poetry was bare, raw but powerful. Potent. Chicago.

He arrived every morning with a paper under his arm, usually the Wall Street Journal, and made no pretense of working until he’d pored through the Journal, the Post, the Rocky, the New York Times. Unlike the self-styled media critics with whom he battled, he relished our media plurality; he was stained with ink.

We argued, owing to strong personalities, and to Bob, heartfelt differences. For him some things weren’t to be compromised. But we agreed early on that ColoradoBiz had lost its edge and that the way forward involved a commitment to great editorial. Our collaboration bore fruit. In 2006 we won the Morton Margolin Prize for Distinguished Business Reporting from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business Bob liked to remind me it was his parting gift, as he left the magazine shortly after.

Ironically, a disagreement with me over a magazine editorial compelled Bob to resign from ColoradoBiz, though I suspect he’d had enough of 21st century “journalism.” A year or so later, he was diagnosed with cancer. I wish we’d been there for him.

RIP, big fella.