John Allen “Jack” Mehaffey, one of the founders of the Naples Press Club (now the Press Club of Southwest Florida), passed away on April 8, 2020, at 83 years of age.
Did you ever wonder who came up with the idea of placing advertising flyers inside of newspapers? It was one of Jack’s companies that pioneered the distribution of preprinted advertising material through newspaper networks.
Jack began his print media career as a Minneapolis Star-Tribune carrier-salesman in 1944. For 68 years, he served on newspaper staffs, then owned and operated community publications. He worked as a journalist, editor/publisher, consultant in advertising, sales, marketing, motivational training and benefactor.
He was a member of many local, state, national and industry organizations. His press club memberships included National Press Club (Washington, DC), International Press Club of Chicago, Chicago Headline Club and Naples Press Club.
Profiled in “Who’s Who In America,” Jack was also the inaugural inductee to Brainerd High School’s Outstanding Achievement Hall-of-Fame in 1999. Among his many awards are The Naples Gem Award for community service, Iwo Jima Award, U.S. Constitution Award, and a Special Patriotic Award by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Press Club Past-President and Founding Member Carole Greene shares, “A giant of the press has left this world. Not only was Jack a founder and a long-time member, he made significant contribution to our press club for many years.”
Rhona Saunders, who co-founded the press club with her husband Terry Miller, notes that Jack was a very special friend of the club. “…Terry valued Jack’s friendship and support, as did I. Thank you, Jack for being a mentor, a supporter, and a true friend.”
On behalf of the members of the Press Club of Southwest Florida, we extend our condolences to Jack’s family, including his life partner and long-time Naples Press Club member Lee Hollingsworth.