E. Carlson, July 2000


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People live in the shadow of Tony Ridder's Big Bronze Shoes - literally. The shrine surrounding Tony's Shoes is located on the bank of the Guadalupe River near the Children's Discovery Museum. Nearby, I found a hobo encampment and a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom with Garlic soup. I placed the can next to Tony's Big Shoes . . . for scale.

Text on the plaque reads:


TONY RIDDER
"PUBLISHER, PHILANTHROPIST,
AND FRIEND TO SAN JOSE"

THESE SHOES SYMBOLIZE THE LONG RUN THAT TONY RIDDER
MADE TO SUPPORT AND IMPROVE SAN JOSE. THEY ARE BIG
SHOES TO FILL. IF OTHERS FILL THEM BY FOLLOWING HIS
EXAMPLE OF STRENGTH, SELFLESSNESS, AND DEDICATION
TONY RIDDER WILL BE HAPPY INDEED.

PEOPLE OF SAN JOSE
1993


A source closely connected to the Mercury News provided me the following article from the April 28, 1996 edition of the Murky.

"Though he's been gone from San Jose for a decade, the oversized cast of his
running shoes in the Guadalupe River Park reminds people that Tony Ridder, the former publisher of the Mercury News and now the CEO of Knight-Ridder Inc., is still an important local presence. So it may be intriguing to know that he's in a brouhaha in Florida because of his efforts to keep the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat in Dade County, which incorporates Miami. "

"First, a bit of background: Nearby Broward County made a concerted effort to attract the Heat and the Florida Panthers hockey team. But at the last minute, Ridder stepped in to help save the Heat for Dade County: A new $165 million arena will be built on bayfront land. But this raised ill will in Broward County, where fans and politicians had been hoping that the Heat would be the anchor of a new arena. The critics assailed the objectivity of Knight-Ridder's flagship newspaper, the Miami Herald. But Ridder was ready to - yes - take the heat. When radio host Neil Rogers called Ridder ''one of the little rich boys at the Herald,'' Ridder responded this way: ''I'm 6-foot-3. That isn't so little.''"


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