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John P. McGoff collection

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-10.3.258

Scope and Contents

The John P. McGoff collection consists of eight newspaper clippings; two from January 1998, and the other six from December 1979. The 1998 clippings tell of McGoff’s death and the memorial service held for him. The 1979 clippings were from a three-part series of articles on McGoff run by the Detroit News. They detail the controversy regarding his connections to South Africa, and focus especially on the influence he had acquired in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan through his newspaper ownership, and on his connections to powerful people across the U.S.


  • Creation: 1979 - 1998


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

John P. McGoff was born in 1925, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He fought in World War II in the African and Italian campaigns. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American history and German, and had participated in the Glee Club, the Ski Club, the YMCA, the Armored Cavalry division of ROTC, and was on the WKAR staff. For the next eight years, he worked as assistant director of alumni relations for MSU, and coordinated the Cap and Gown musical series. In 1958, McGoff bought his first radio station, and formed the Panax Corp. newspaper group and Global Communications, Inc. He eventually owned over seventy newspapers across the United States and was a prominent Republican fundraiser. In the 1970s, McGoff underwent a federal investigation to determine whether he was an unregistered agent of the South African government. No charges were brought against him. He liquidated Panax Corp. in the early 1980s. McGoff died on January 21, 1998, in Charlevoix, Michigan, of cancer.


0.1 Cubic Feet (, 2 folders)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

A gift of Arnold Bransdorfer.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

John P. McGoff Collection
4 Published And Cataloged
S. Soule
June 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US