John Skipper, one of the Midwest's most experienced journalists and the trusted source for government and political coverage in North Iowa, announced Tuesday his retirement from full-time reporting.

After a one-year stint in Mason City in the 1980s, Skipper returned to the Globe Gazette in March 1995. His tenure covered nine mayors and four city administrators and included intense local debate over projects and proposals that helped define the region.

His entire newspaper career has covered 52 years.

Skipper, who has published 16 books largely focusing on politics and baseball, will continue his weekly column on the Globe Gazette's opinion page. He will also contribute freelance stories.

His last day will be Friday, Feb. 23.

The Globe Gazette will have more on Skipper's time and influence on North Iowa in an upcoming edition.

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