Media Moves

Former Star-Tribune biz reporter Blade dies at 85

December 26, 2019

Posted by Chris Roush

Joseph Blade

Joseph Blade, a longtime business reporter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, died last month at the age of 85.

Sharyn Jackson of the Star-Tribune writes, “In 1975, Blade authored a series of stories about mistreatment of patients and financial wrongdoing at River Villa, Minnesota’s largest privately owned nursing home. His report ultimately led to five convictions, prison sentences for the owners and new state laws that increased regulation for nursing homes.

“‘That was probably the hallmark of his career,’ said Dave Nimmer, who was managing editor of the Star at the time. ‘I got plenty of flack from some people, but he was right. He was taking the industry to task for issues of care and finance. He was a damned good reporter.’

“His investigative work ‘consumed’ him, said his partner of 47 years, Ann Burckhardt. ‘When he was on somebody’s trail, it absolutely took over his life.’ Blade would often rent a motel room where he could spread out boxes of paperwork, toiling ‘night and day till he had the details he sought,’ Burckhardt said.”

Read more here.

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