Regarding being born into privilege, Nick Coleman's father was among the most powerful men in the state, including four terms as Senate Majority Leader, from 1973 to 1981. His step mother, Deborah Howell, worked at the Minneapolis Star from 1965 to 1979, rising to the post of City Editor. In 1973, Nick was given a job as city hall reporter, for the Minneapolis Star. In 1979, Deborah Howell moved to the Pioneer Press serving as Managing Editor, then Executive Editor, until 1990. In 1986, stepson Nick was given a columnist position, at, guess what, the St. Paul Pioneer Press.