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Betty Ewens Quadracci

She’s been described as smart, tough, generous, hardworking, fearless and outspoken. 

Betty Quadracci was all of those things, all of them at once. She could challenge you and charm you in the same conversation. That inimitable style was her gift, the ability to connect with people instantly, the ability to know them, draw them out and pull them into her corner of the ring. 

As the publisher and president of Milwaukee Magazine, Betty was devoted to hard-hitting journalism, yes. She loved to make waves now and then – when necessary, though, and not merely as sport. 

But more than anything, she was fiercely devoted to her family, or, more accurately, her families – her four children, 10 grandchildren and five siblings, of course, but also the families that made up her non-private world: the Quad/Graphics family that she raised with her husband, Harry, as company cofounders; the art communities that she and Harry generously supported and nurtured; and the Milwaukee Magazine family that she demandingly yet admiringly guided for 30 years. 

Betty Quadracci died at home on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, in the company of family and friends. 

Her legacy is certainly evident in the built environment – most visibly, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. But her influence carries on in the lives she touched, and in the ideas, encouragement and affection she gave to the many people she left behind.

Rest in peace, Betty. Rest in peace.

Kurt Chandler
Editor, Milwaukee Magazine 

 Remembering Betty.

Listen to a special episode of “No Revisions” where Kurt Chandler, Ann Christenson and Howie Magner reminisce about Betty Quadracci.

Listen to a special segment on “Lake Effect” about Betty Quadracci’s legacy.