J.E. "Ted" Holtzinger was born the grandson of Altoona Mirror founder Harry E. Slep. He attended Penn State, majoring in journalism and minoring in business and animal husbandry. Holtzinger dedicated his life to community service and started the advisory board that would create the Altoona Undergraduate Center (later Penn State Altoona) in 1939. He served on the board his entire life until his passing in 1977.