Podcast: Remembering Betty Brown Jagnow
When Betty J.H. Brown Jagnow of Canfield died in February at age 92, it wasn’t without a fight. She had beaten the coronavirus and pneumonia in both lungs just months before. But Betty was used to fighting.
Although slight in stature, weighing only 98 pounds and standing only a little over 5 feet tall, Betty fought many impressive battles with powerhouses in her day and won. Her fights weren’t in a boxing ring; they were for truth and honesty — holding public officials and area business owners accountable for their actions and their responsibilities to the Valley.
Betty was the former publisher of The Vindicator and president of both The Vindicator Printing Company and WFMJ Television in Youngstown for nearly four decades. Although not a journalist by profession, she had a deep and abiding respect for those who toiled every day to make The Youngstown Vindicator the award-winning newspaper that it was for many decades.
She and her son, Mark Brown, took over the reins of The Vindicator, WFMJ-TV, and The WFMJ Broadcasting Company (former owner of the radio station at 1390 AM) in 1981 following the death of Publisher William J. Brown, her husband, and his father. She had been an officer and director of each of the companies since 1973. The family legacy of service to the community and The Vindicator's role as watchdog of the private and public sectors was fully embraced.
Betty was a private person, and never let her very important role change who she was. She would often chuckle when recalling that she started work at The Vindicatoron April Fool's Day in 1948.
So with what would have been her 74th anniversary with The Vindicator Printing Company in mind, her son Mark, along with friends, family, and colleagues, including long-time journalists Bertram de Souza and Robert McFerren, came together for this podcast to discuss the woman behind the scenes — a woman who fought for the rights of the citizens of the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, even in court cases all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court, but whom very few ever really got to know.
Joining us to share wonderful memories of the life of Betty Brown Jagnow are her sister, Emilee Foreman; her two nephews, Jeff and Skipper Foreman; and some longtime family friends.
This podcast is a tribute not to Betty’s accomplishments, but to her life.