Donald W. Reynolds
Reynolds was the son of Gaines W. Reynolds, a wholesale grocery salesman, and his wife, Anna Louise. He grew up in Oklahoma City and got his first job in the newspaper business selling papers at the local railroad station.
In high school, Reynolds decided he wanted to attend the University of Missouri's Missouri School of Journalism, and he worked during high school and successive summers at a meat packing plant to pay for his studies. While at the University of Missouri, he was initiated into Pi Kappa Alpha. He graduated in 1927.
Reynolds' first business venture was a photo engraving plant. He then purchased and sold the Quincy Evening News in Massachusetts, using the proceeds from that sale to buy the Okmulgee Daily Times in Oklahoma and the Southwest Times Record in Arkansas. Those two papers launched the Donrey Media Group. Operating mostly in small towns, the group grew to include more than 100 businesses, including newspapers, radio stations, television stations, cable television operations, and billboard companies. Perhaps his biggest success came with the ownership of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the largest newspaper in Nevada.
Reynolds interrupted his newspaper career to serve in the military during World War II, initially in military intelligence and, later, as the officer in charge of the Pacific and London editions of the "soldiers' newspaper, “YANK.” He attained the rank of Major, received the Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal during his military service, and returned to civilian status in 1945.
He focused his business acumen on businesses located in small but growth-oriented communities, and these communities often were the recipients of the Foundation’s earliest charitable grants.
Reynolds died in 1993, and a large sum of money from his business ventures went to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. There are currently a number of buildings named for Reynolds, including:
- The Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith, Arkansas,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Center for Life Sciences at Hendrix College,
- The Reynolds Center at Harding University,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center at the University of Oklahoma,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas,
- The Donald W. Reynolds YMCA in Warren, Arkansas,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Alumni Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism,
- The Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business and Economic Development at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Science Center at Henderson State University,
- The Donald W. Reynolds School of Architecture at Oklahoma State University,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, AR,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in Washington, DC.,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Emergency Shelter and Recreation building at the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter, and
- The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center at the Mount Vernon estate of George Washington in Virginia.
- The Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home, Arkansas
- The Donald W. Reynolds Center at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, AR,
- The Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences on the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro, AR.
- The Donald W Reynolds Community Center and Library in Durant, Oklahoma
Donald Worthington Reynolds left three children on his death: Nancy, Donald and Jonathan. Forbes Magazine notes that Reynolds's three children will receive trust income of $ 50,000 a year for life, but will be left only $ 1 if they unsuccessfully contest his will. The bulk of the Estate was left to The Donald W Reynolds Foundation.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation continues his lengthy legacy of charitable giving with funding programs for capital grants, aging and quality of life, cardiovascular clinical research, and journalism.
In accordance with its articles of incorporation, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is designated to terminate rather than continue in perpetuity. Its board of trustees has determined that the foundation will cease to make grants on or before 2022.