Editor and Publisher
20 OVER 50
In his farewell column as publisher of The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer in December 1997, Rolfe Neill said that in 40-odd years, illness had kept him away from work for less than a week. Neill, one of modern Charlotte’s most indelible leaders and publisher of the Observer from 1975 until his retirement in 1997, died July 14 at age 90 of complications from peritoneal cancer, his daughter Ingrid Ebert of Kernersville said. Herbert J. Siegel, a maverick investor who became a billionaire entertainment-industry mogul most notable for finally enabling the merger of Warner Communications and Time Inc. in 1989 and for selling 10 television stations to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 2000, died Aug. 5 at his home in Manhattan. He was 95. His wife, Jeanne, said the cause was heart failure. Robert Giles, 90, a former editor and publisher of The Detroit News, died Aug. 7, after battling metastatic melanoma. Giles spent 11 years at the News between 1986 to 1997, leading the paper to a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for exposing embezzlement at the Michigan House Fiscal Agency and overseeing the integration of the joint-operating agreement with the Detroit Free Press. William H. Dilday Jr., a Boston TV executive who moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1972 to manage the city’s NBC affiliate, becoming the country’s first Black person to run a commercial television station, died on July 27 in Newton, Massachusetts. He was 85. Carlo Vittorini, who as publisher guided Parade magazine, the nearly ubiquitous weekly Sunday newspaper supplement, to revenue and circulation heights, died on June 25 at his summer home in Nantucket, Massachusetts. He was 94. His wife, Nancy Vittorini, said the cause was congestive heart failure. James Larkin, co-founder of the Phoenix New Times, an anti-war newspaper founded at Arizona State University in 1970 that would lead to an empire of alternative weeklies in 18 cities across the country, and co-defendant in a federal trial just days away, died by suicide on July 31. Local police confirmed the 74-yearold died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Charles W. “Chuck’’ Cherry II of Daytona Beach, a fierce proponent of the Black Press and a longtime warrior for social justice, died July 15 at age 66. Cherry retired as publisher of the Daytona Times (Tampa, Florida) and the Florida Courier in 2020 after running the Black newspapers’ editorial operations for decades. The retired attorney also was an author, speaker, radio broadcaster and strategic business planning consultant. Jeffrey H. Brodsky, an accomplished reporter and former editor of the Central High School newspaper who inspired an annual award honoring young journalists, died July 26 at his home in Manchester following a decade-long battle with an aggressive form of Parkinson’s disease. He was 49. Larry Pryor, a former Los Angeles Times journalist who embraced the digital world before much of the industry and whose work as a reporter and editor covering the environment spurred action on climate issues, died July 13 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 86. Henry Kamm, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for The New York Times who covered Cold War diplomacy in Europe and the Soviet Union, famine in Africa, and wars and genocide in Southeast Asia, died July 9 in Paris. He was 98. His son, Thomas, confirmed the death, at St. Joseph’s Hospital. David Richards, a theater critic whose lively and accessible prose style made him a Pulitzer Prize finalist at The Washington Post and who had a brief stint as The New York Times’ chief drama critic, died June 24 at a hospital in Warrenton, Virginia. He was 82. In a storied career that would eventually lead him to travel the globe, Joe Murray was awarded journalism’s highest honor — and earned The Lufkin Daily News national acclaim — for a series of stories reported without ever setting foot outside his hometown. The iconic journalist died at his home June 25 at the age of 82. While editor of the paper, he and then-cub reporter Ken Herman won the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1977 for a series of articles leading to reforms in military training and recruiting practices. David Bohrman, a former veteran CNN producer and executive who pioneered the use of the “Magic Wall,” died June 25, following complications after hip surgery, according to his family. He was 69. George Gedda, a workhorse veteran of The Associated Press whose coverage of the State Department and international relations spanned more than four decades and who played a major role in explaining U.S. foreign policy to the American public from Vietnam to Cuba, Afghanistan and Iraq, has died. He was 82. Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers that detailed U.S. actions during the Vietnam war, died June 16 at his home in Kensington, California. He was 92. The cause, his family said in a statement, was pancreatic cancer.