Allen O. Larson
Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
Ever since his parents gave him a toy printing press and a Kodak box camera, Al Larson has employed artful visual images and the power of the written word to express his thoughts and ideas. And through a lifelong career in the printing industry, Larson has helped countless others express their words and images and share them with the world.
At age 18, Larson opened his own business as a photoengraver, making plates for the Minot Daily News and other publications in northwest North Dakota. His is credited with making the first offset printing plate in Minot. In 1959, he began a 23-year-long partnership in Lowe and Larson Printing. Together with some of his weekly newspaper publisher friends, Larson established Minot’s first web-offset printing plant, Greater Northwest Publishing in 1973, and later he and Shirley and their son, Sheldon, founded Creative Media Advertising Agency, Creative Printing, and North American Heritage Press, a publishing house that has found a niche with books of Scandinavian interest.
The full-blooded Norwegian-American is a founding father of Norsk Høstfest, and has served as a coordinator and designer of print materials and print advertising for the festival since its start. He has been the association’s vice president for many years. He also initiated the founding of Scandinavian Heritage Association in 1988, and has been described as the “spark plug” for the development of Minot’s Scandinavian Heritage Park.
Al and his wife, Shirley, have three grown children – Valerie, Sheldon, and Diana Jean, all of whom are active in the family businesses – and two grandsons, Dustin and Shawn Smith.