Richard Connor: Amon Carter wrote the book, we’ll borrow a page

Often, when I see Amon Carter Sr.’s name in Fort Worth, I wonder how many millennials or those who moved to Fort Worth and Tarrant County in the last 20 years, maybe 30, know much about him.

He’s been on our minds recently because, we’d like to think, his entrepreneurial spirit in media has rubbed off on us. On Monday, June 29, we introduce to the marketplace a new magazine, Fort Worth Business CEO. If you are a subscriber you will receive a copy. You’ll also have the opportunity to pick it up at newsstands, stores, and in offices and hotels.

CEO is aimed at area executives so that we may tell them about each other, the area, and the robust economy here. Profiles of local CEOs will be a mainstay of the magazine but along with serious stories you will find humor. One of the staff’s favorites is a reader-submitted column called “Executive Dog.” Business is serious, let’s face it. But we also need to have fun and laugh at ourselves alongside some gravitas.

We have just changed the name of our newspaper to “Fort Worth Business,” redesigned our website, created new online and social media products, and created a brand, “FWB.” CEO magazine is an extension of that brand. More changes and other products are in development.

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A former Star-Telegram colleague and magazine editor, Paul Harral, has joined our team as editor of CEO. His first effort with us is one we are proud of, but he’s a perfectionist and promises that each edition will improve.

So we are doing some of the same things that Amon Carter did in an effort to provide a media spark toward lighting the fire of our city’s growth. That said, it might be wise to offer a glimpse into Carter.

Amon, along with Sid Richardson (uncle to the Bass brothers), Kay Kimbell and a small group of influential business leaders, built Fort Worth. Without them, we’d be Abilene.

If you’ve never been to Abilene, this story might offer some perspective. A friend’s son was being deployed to Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene. He was asked by someone what Abilene was like compared to Iraq.

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“Like Iraq,” he said.

Anyway, Fort Worth is like neither place. It’s a hustling, bustling city that is now the 16th largest in the country. Carter’s family honored him by naming a museum after him, and the city has placed his name in a variety of places

Amon Carter laid the foundation for an ambitious, pro-growth city. He’s better known than some of his contemporaries because he was outspoken, colorful, and Western to the core. He sometimes wore big cowboy hats and occasionally strapped on a couple of six-shooters. The late Jerry Flemmons wrote a biography of Carter but the book with the simple title, Amon, is out of print and hard to find.

He promoted his own businesses and others. He was always moving, always changing. We want to emulate him.

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Richard Connor is chairman of the parent company of Fort Worth Business, DRC Media. Contact him at