George Randolph Hearst Jr. dies at 84


A sign hangs on the Hearst Tower June 15, 2006 in New York City.


Mario Tama

George Randolph Hearst Jr., the eldest grandson of newspaper titan William Randolph Hearst and chairman of the Hearst Corp., died Monday of complications from a stroke.

Hearst, 84, died at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, the company said in a statement.

His grandfather took over the small San Francisco Examiner in 1887, the first newspaper in what would become his empire, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Starting in 1948, Hearst himself served as a director of Hearst Corp. for more than 50 years and became chairman in 1996.

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After taking a break from the news business to serve in the Army during the Korean War, Hearst returned to print, first at the San Francisco Examiner, then at the Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, reported the Los Angeles Times. Eventually he became publisher of the LA papers.

"As chairman of the board, he brought his vast experience and wisdom to bear during a time of incredible growth and helped guide us through periods of enormous change," said Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Hearst Corp., in a statement, according to the Associated Press.

Hearst publishes 15 daily US newspapers and magazines including Country Living, ELLE and Esquire, and it runs 29 television stations and two radio stations, reported Bloomberg. The corporation is owned by The Hearst Family Trust, which was established in the will of William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951.