Courtesy of the Nordic Heritage Museum
Henning Boe was the publisher and editor of the Western Viking for 32 years.

Henning Boe, 1915 - 2010

Saying goodbye to an historic figure

Henning C. Boe, owner of the Western Viking, passed away on November 28, 2010 at age 95.

Born on April 27, 1915 in Oslo, Norway, he grew up in Tvedestrand and was trained as a master printer. He emigrated to the US in 1951, and worked for several US newspapers.

In 1954 he moved to Seattle to work for the Washington Posten. He bought the Washington Posten in 1959 from O.L. Eide, and changed the name to Western Viking.

The Western Viking started printing in Ballard in June of 1961.

In 1973 he bought several other US-based Norwegian papers as well as the Norrona of Vancouver, BC, making the Western Viking the largest weekly Norwegian-American newspaper at that time.

That same year he was honored by King Olav V of Norway with the St. Olav medal for promoting Norwegian culture and language.

“He was one of the most important Norwegian-Americans of the last 100 years in Seattle,” said Julie Pheasant Albright, author of “Early Ballard”.

A bit of history on Boe and the Western Viking is on display in The Nordic Heritage Museum in its Norwegian Room on the third floor.

Boe retired in 1990 after having served as the editor and publisher of Western Viking for 32 years.

“He was a role model,” said Kristine Leander, author of Norwegian Seattle. “He saw himself as one of the people who kept the community alive and together. He was a cohesive force.”

The Western Viking is now owned by the Norwegian American Foundation and publishes as the Norwegian-American Weekly,

Boe spent the last five months of his life in East Wenatchee with his daughter.
He is survived by his daughters Wenke Backman, Nina Boe, and Ellen Helsel, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.