facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon

Richard Doak

Instructor for History

I’ve always loved history. After graduating from Iowa State University a long time ago, I stuck around for a few years to earn an M.S. in economic history. Then I spent the next 40-plus years not as a historian but as a journalist working for the Des Moines Register. I covered almost every beat at one time or another and ended up as editorial page editor and columnist. All the while, I retained my interest in history and tried to absorb as much Iowa lore as I could. One of my early mentors was the great reporter George Mills, an authority on Iowa history and author of several books on the subject. Covering politics and business took me all over Iowa, and a decade covering the Legislature familiarized me with issues and interests in every corner of the state. Cycling about a decade of RAGBRAIs familiarized me with the countryside. When I retired from the Register, Simpson College happened to be looking for someone to teach Iowa history part-time. I dusted off the old master’s degree and jumped at the chance. What a joy it is to share my Iowa avocation with new generations of traditional students and adult learners at Simpson.