Robert A. Roth Biography
Robert A. Roth is an American publisher and art collector. He was the founder and publisher of the Chicago Reader, one of the most influential and successful newspapers of its type.
He was also one of Intuit’s founders and first president: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, located in Chicago. Intuit is the only non-profit organization in the U.S. dedicated to presenting “outsider” art by self-educated artists.
Robert A. Roth Age
The American publisher was born on March 19, 1947 in Chicago U.S. He grew up in Arlington Heights, Illnois, a suburb of Chicago.
Robert A. Roth Family|Wife|Children
We have no records of his parents, wife and children. We will update you as soon as we get them.
Robert A. Roth Education
He attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, graduating in 1969 from magna cum laude. He began graduating in political philosophy at the University of Chicago in the fall of that year, but before graduating he left school to devote his energies to the Reader, which he began with a group of Carleton friends in 1971.
Robert A. Roth Career
The Reader was one of the first and ultimately one of the most successful in an urban newspaper genre that came to be known as the weekly alternative. Roth modeled it after New York’s Village Voice and papers he had seen in Boston, but with one important difference: the reader was unpologetically free, distributed in bookstores, bars, and shops.
Free circulation was disreputable at the time. Roth, who was president of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies from 1983 to 1987, proselytized for the free model and began to adopt it as the Reader prospered papers in other cities. By 1996, when the Village Voice had converted to free circulation, the entire industry had followed the lead of the Reader.
Roth was Reader’s publisher from 1971 to 1994, editor and publisher from 1975 to 1990, and company president until it was sold in 2007. He was also president of the company that published Washington City Paper, owned by the same group and also sold in 2007. Since then, Roth has been president of Quarterfold, Inc., which holds untransferred former Reader assets in the sale, including an interest in Index Newspapers, the company that publishes Seattle’s The Stranger, and Oregon’s Portland Mercury.
In the mid-1980s, Roth began collecting art. By 2005, his collection included more than 1,000 pieces, mostly by untrained artists such as Henry Darger, Steve Ashby, and Sam Doyle. In 2008 he was named to Arts & Antiques magazine’s list of 250 “Top Collectors.” He served as president of Intuit (see above) from 1991 to 1996 and remains on the board of directors. The museum’s Robert A. Roth Study Center is named in his honor. He is also a director and the principal owner of Raw Vision, the international journal of outsider art, based in London.