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Coeur d’Alene megamillionaire Duane Hagadone dies at age 88

UPDATED: Sat., April 24, 2021

Hagadone  (Shawn Gust/press)
Hagadone (Shawn Gust/press)

The multi-millionaire founder of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Duane Hagadone, died at age 88 Saturday in his winter home in Palm Desert, California, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

“A native of Coeur d’Alene, Duane loved North Idaho and the communities that the Hagadone Corporation has served,” the family said in a statement given to Coeur d’Alene Press.

Hagadone worked his way up from newspaper delivery boy to publisher, following in the footsteps of his father at the Coeur d’Alene Press.

In the last decade of his life, Hagadone’s wealth was such that one of his Coeur d’Alene homes hit the market listed at $27.5 million. Another Coeur d’Alene home listed at auction at $7.5 million sat on 15 gated acres on Stanley Hill.

Hagadone, born in Coeur d’Alene to Burl and Beverly Hagadone, had been rooted in the area for much of his life.

“My parents were very dear to me,” Hagadone said in 2004. “I owe everything to them. I wouldn’t be what I am today if it wasn’t for the great foundation my mom and dad gave me.”

By age 9, he was gardening neighbors’ lawns for not a “heck of a lot.” In his youth, Coeur d’Alene’s main economic drivers were mining, timber and agriculture.

At age 11, Hagadone began working a paper route, according to his biography for the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

Hagadone attended the University of Idaho at his parents’ request but quit six months in to work at the Coeur d’Alene Press, where his father was publisher by that time. Hagadone climbed up from selling subscriptions door-to-door in rural Kootenai County to selling classified ads, according to the bio.

Hagadone was an advertising salesman for the paper at a time when, he said in 2017, tourism in the area was not on many minds. After six years in the position, Hagadone’s father died suddenly at the age of 49 from cancer, which robbed Hagadone of “my closest friend,” he told the Horatio Alger Association.

“He was my confidant, my buddy,” Hagadone said. “It was a huge loss. I was with my father the day he died, and I made a commitment to him that I would take care of my mother and my two sisters.”

Hagadone took over as publisher, following in his father’s footsteps. By 1976, the Hagadone Newspaper Company owned 17 papers. Hagadone Corp. now holds several divisions, as Hagadone has invested mainly in tourism through marine, golf, restaurant and hospitality businesses, including the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

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