Aaron was born in Hibbing, raised on a family-owned salvage yard just north of the Sax-Zim peat bog along the Iron Range and now lives in Itasca County. He graduated from Cherry High School and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in communication from the University of Wisconsin at Superior.
A writer and journalist
Aaron's first media job came at age 16 when he spun easy listening tunes for WEVE in Eveleth. Later he would work as a news reporter and afternoon anchor for KDTH-AM in Dubuque, Iowa, and as a reporter and evening anchor for KUWS-FM in Superior, Wis., filing reports for Wisconsin Public Radio.
In 2001, he was hired as a reporter for the Hibbing (Minn.) Daily Tribune and months later was promoted to managing editor. He became the youngest editor in the newspaper's history and the youngest daily newspaper editor in state history. His column, which he still writes weekly, covers politics, community issues, local culture and humor and remains a well-read Sunday staple of the newspaper. He's won dozens of awards from the Northwest Broadcast News Association, Associated Press and Minnesota Newspaper Association. He is a regular contributor to 91.7 KAXE, Northern Community Radio, with weekly essays appearing on "Between You and Me" each Saturday morning and occasional morning show guest hosting and special projects.
In October 2008, Red Step Press of Duluth will release Aaron's first book of nonfiction essays, "Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range."
After two award-winning years as a newspaper editor, Aaron opted to pursue graduate school and a teaching career in 2003. Earning his M.A. in just a year, he was hired to teach communication courses at Hibbing Community College. At HCC, he's developed online and traditional courses in communication while becoming an active member of the campus community and faculty union. In 2007, he graduated with the first class of the True North Leadership Academy for professionals in northern Minnesota's community colleges.
A community leader
Aaron is a founding co-chair and media coordinator for Dylan Days, a nonprofit organization that honors Minnesota native Bob Dylan through arts programs and an annual weekend arts event in Hibbing every May. He is also politically active, serving as a director on the Itasca DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor Party) Board of Directors, a past director for the Fifth Senate District DFL and various posts with DFL legislative and state candidates dating back to 1996. In 2006, he was chair of progressive labor Democrat Tom Anzelc's hard-fought and successful campaign for State Representative in District 3A and today continues to run Anzelc's campaigns.
During college, he was program monitor and press agent for the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training summer youth programs. He researched, visited and advocated for job training programs to help at-risk and low income youth in Northern Minnesota. This led to his current position as chair of the Northeast Minnesota Youth Council, which serves in an advisory capacity for youth employment programs in the area. In 2000, he was honored by Independent Gov. Jesse Ventura and again in 2004 by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty for his work with youth employment programs. Regardless of political party, Aaron works with people to create consensus and action in the communities of Northeastern Minnesota.
Aaron lives in rural Itasca County with his wife Christina, sons Henry, Douglas and George, and dog Molly (aka: MoDog).
Columns since Aaron became an independent columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune in 2003 are listed here. Columns written during Aaron's time as editor of the Tribune are archived at www.hibbingmn.com (fees apply). The current year's columns are listed in the left sidebar.
Read Aaron's 2007 columns.
Read Aaron's 2003 columns.