You are here

Longtime RAGBRAI Leader Passes Away

Published May 10, 2011

DES MOINES, IA (BRAIN)—Don Benson, longtime leader of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) died May 8 of pancreatic cancer.

He was 82.

Benson, who spent 27 years in the Des Moines Register’s promotions department, was a railroader at heart—the grandson of a depot agent, he was a member of several railroad fan clubs. But he was also the logistics man for the first 19 RAGBRAIs, launching each with the cry, “Take no prisoners!”

Chuck Offenburger, a former Register columnist and RAGBRAI co-host, said Benson “kept the event rolling. He knew how to do things like find a detour that couldn’t be used for vehicles but was just fine for bicycles.”

Benson is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jackie, two children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Topics associated with this article: People

Join the Conversation