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Allison Cowles, media matriarch, dies at age 75

| April 26, 2010 9:00 PM

SPOKANE — Allison Stacey Cowles, former wife of ex-Spokesman-Review president and publisher William H. Cowles III and a prominent and influential civic leader, died in the early hours of Sunday morning at her residence in Spokane.

Cowles, mother of current Spokesman-Review publisher W. Stacey Cowles, was 75. Family members reported the cause of death as pancreatic cancer.

Allison Cowles was married to William Cowles from 1959-92. William Cowles died in 1992 of a heart attack while jogging. In 1996, Allison Cowles married Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger, chair emeritus of the New York Times Company.

The couple moved to Spokane several weeks ago after Allison Cowles was diagnosed with cancer.

Allison Cowles served as a national board member of the Smithsonian Institution and on corporate boards. She was chairwoman of the advisory board of the Spokane branch of Washington State University.

She served on the Washington State Council for Postsecondary Education for 12 years and was a member of the Governor’s Temporary Committee on Educational Policies, Structure and Management. She was also a trustee of Whitman College and Wellesley College.

Memorial services are pending.

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