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W. Dixon Bowles, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Aristotle Inc., Dies
Dec. 19, 2010
W. Dixon Bowles, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Aristotle Inc., Little Rock based Internet Access Provider and Interactive Agency, passed away of natural causes at his home in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sunday, December 19, 2010, his family announced today.
A visionary and entrepreneur, Mr. Bowles was instrumental in the foundation and growth of a number of successful enterprises, including Solomon Alfred’s in Memphis, Tennessee, in the mid-1970’s, one of the first entertainment venues to combine live entertainment, fine dining and a video arcade in one facility.
In 1982, Mr. Bowles co-founded VideoSoft, Inc., a company that developed computer programming video training courses that were purchased by Boeing, NASA and other major corporations. VideoSoft’s VS Software division, an International Typeface Corporation affiliate, created three multi-million dollar software products: FontGen, one of the first font generation programs for laser printers, the VS Font Library, and SLEd, a signature and logo editor which is still sold today.
In 1995, Mr. Bowles co-founded Aristotle which is now celebrating its 15th year in the Internet industry. “Much of Aristotle’s success is due to the entrepreneurial spirit, democratic management style and conservative, measured growth strategies set in place by Dixon,” stated Marla Johnson Norris, CEO of Aristotle. “Although he will be deeply missed, his visionary strategies have laid a strong foundation on which the company can and will continue to build in the coming decades.”
Mr. Bowles was born and grew up in West Texas. He began his professional career as a musician and formed the W.D. Singers, a 60-voice folk choral group, in 1965. The singing group was pared down to 18 “loose coat hangers from Texas” who moved to Los Angeles to become the Dan Blocker Singers. The first folk music choir, the Dan Blocker Singers appeared on the Milton Berle Show and in other venues in California and Nevada. The singing group was the inspiration for the Christy Minstrels and other folk music ensembles. Mr. Bowles’ pioneering folk singing group came to be known in Hollywood simply as “The Group.” In 1969, Mr. Bowles and several members of the original Dan Blocker Singers relocated to Arkansas, where they campaigned for Governor Winthrop Rockefeller and managed dinner theaters on Mount Magazine, Greers Ferry, and Little Rock.
Mr. Bowles is survived by his wife, Constance J. Crisp; daughter, L. Elizabeth Bowles; son-in-law, Rafael Bravo; and granddaughter Victoria Grace Bravo Bowles - all of Little Rock; mother, Louise Welborne Bowles, brother, Clayton and sister-in-law Sharon of Malvern; and brother Kenneth and sister-in-law, Devera of Minot, North Dakota, as well as a host of other family and friends.
The Bowles family has established a fund in Mr. Bowles’ name to continue his community and charitable work. Donations may be mailed to the W.D. Bowles Fund at P.O. Box 165920, Little Rock, AR 72206.