Minnesota businessman Kenneth Dahlberg, who founded what became Miracle-Ear and bankrolled numerous other companies, died in October at the age of 94.
In a guest commentary in Twin Cities Business' December issue, TCF Financial Corporation Chairman and CEO Bill Cooper reflects on Dahlberg's life-and attempts to answer a question that's a direct quote from President Richard Nixon in one of the Watergate tapes: "Who the Hell is Ken Dahlberg?"
Dahlberg "represents the greatest of the World War II generation," writes Cooper. "Growing up in poverty during the Great Depression, Ken rose to be a genuine war hero, a business entrepreneur, and a Minnesota legend." Click here to read Cooper's full commentary.
As the commentary suggests, Dahlberg had a brief appearance in the Watergate scandal, despite the fact that he didn't engage in any wrongdoing. In 1972, a $25,000 cashier's check that Dahlberg had given to Nixon's national finance chairman turned up in the account of one of the Watergate burglars, whose arrest would lead to Nixon's resignation. The contribution came from former Archer Daniels Midland Chairman Dwayne Andreas. It was legal, and Dahlberg was cleared by a grand jury-but not before he was interrogated by an investigator with the Florida attorney general's office in Miami, where he was attending the Republican National Convention.