(Nov. 6, 1901-Nov. 19, 1987). Born in Marion, Indiana, Lowell Nussbaum began his journalism career while still in high school, working as a part-time reporter for both town papers as well as the Chicago Journal. Later, he became city editor of the Marion Chronicle and, in 1927, left for a job as a reporter at the Indianapolis Times. Nussbaum later became city editor at the Times and the author of a column entitled “Inside Indianapolis.”

In August 1945, he moved to the Indianapolis Star and began writing “Now See Here,” a daily human-interest column. He retired in October 1971 but continued the column as a Sunday feature until November 26, 1976. His column was widely read, and he used it to promote his favorite causes, especially the city’s need for a zoo. He made mocking references to a “mythical” Indianapolis Zoological Society, helped in such a society’s creation in 1955, and then started a fund drive that resulted in the city’s first zoo in 1964. The INDIANAPOLIS ZOO has officially recognized Nussbaum as the “guiding force and visionary” for its establishment. 

He was a longtime member of the board of directors of the Zoological Society and served as its president. He was also a founding member of the Indianapolis Press Club and its president in 1941-1942. In 1961, he received a CASPER Award, created by the COMMUNITY SERVICE COUNCIL in 1951 to honor members of the news media who wrote exemplary stories to improve human needs. He was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 1975. The Lowell Nussbaum Society at the Indianapolis Zoo is named in his honor. 

Nussbaum died three weeks after the closing of the first site of the zoo in Washington Park and as the animals were being moved to the new zoo in WHITE RIVER STATE PARK.

Revised February 2021

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