Giving back to the area that helped their business grow has always been the philosophy of the Hoag and Rawlings families. The Robert Hoag Rawlings Foundation was created in 1998 to find ways to give help in the communities in Southern Colorado whose citizens had become loyal subscribers to The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper, helping to make it the number one newspaper in the area.
Rawlings’ grandfather, Frank S. Hoag Sr. purchased the Pueblo Star Journal newspaper in 1918, and in the 1930’s bought their competitor, The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper, creating the Star Journal/Chieftain Publishing Corporation. Frank S. Hoag Jr. was deeply involved in matters of growth in the area and helped with generous donations. When Bob Rawlings became publisher, he wanted to promote philanthropy and encourage others to do so also. He created this Foundation over 30 years ago to ensure that his family legacy would help for generations to come. He asked close business associates Dave Cardinal, David Shaw, Bob Wertz and Bernie Schmidt to help, and along with his wife Sandy and their four children, Jane, John, Robert Jr, and Carolyn. They formed a group who has helped infuse millions of dollars into projects, programs and scholarships through a 17-county area since its inception.
About the Founder
Robert Hoag Rawlings was born in Pueblo Colorado, in 1924, son of John and Dorothy Hoag Rawlins. He was reared in Las Animas and graduated from Bent County High School in 1942. Rawlings graduated with a bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 1947 from Colorado College. He was in the United States Navy from December 1942 to July 1946 serving in the South Pacific. Rawlings started as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain and Star-Journal in 1947. In 1951 he became an advertising salesman; in 1962 he was named General Manager and in January 1980 he was appointed Publisher and Editor; in 1984 he was elected president of The Star-Journal Publishing Corporation. He passed away in May of 2017 as chairman and editor of The Pueblo Chieftain. The Pueblo Chieftain is the oldest daily newspaper in Colorado. The circulation area of The Pueblo Chieftain comprises approximately 25,000 square miles in Southeastern Colorado from the Kansas border to the Continental Divide, and from Pueblo south to the New Mexico border.