John P. McGoff Collection

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator -
McGoff, John P.
John P. McGoff collection
Date [inclusive]
0.1 Cubic feet , 2 folders

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing,Michigan".

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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.

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Scope and Contents note

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.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections June 2010

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

A gift of Arnold Bransdorfer.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan State University. Class of 1950.


  • Newspapers


  • Conservatives
  • Universities and colleges -- Alumni and alumnae

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Collection Inventory


Drawer Folder


F.D. 1


F.D. 2