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Reporter, columnist, fairly nice guy, not very tall: George Hesselberg retires

Sep. 11, 2017
Category: Career

George Hesselberg, Class of ’73, retired in March after 42 years as a reporter at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, where he was fortunate to include in his thousands of assignments articles about curious events, extraordinary people and strange happenings at the UW-Madison. From interviewing Tunnel Bob to reporting from the first Halloween(s) on State Street, to uncovering the burial spot of diseased cows along the Lakeshore Path, to breaking the biggest and smallest stories on campus, Hesselberg managed to irritate, inform and entertain all sorts of newspaper readers, including generations of students and their instructors, and those instructors’ administrators, and those administrators’ legislative overlords. Thanks to university researchers, he once got the term “wild monkey sex” into the first paragraph of a page one news story. He plans to freelance, help his friend sell vegetables at the Farmers’ Market, finish a children’s book and literarily kill off some longtime adversaries in a series of murder mysteries. He can be reached at

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