USA Today Founder Al Neuharth Dies
USA Today has compiled a round-up of reactions to his death. Among these are comments from Gannett CEO Gracia Martore, Tom Brokaw and Larry King.
Martore said, “This is a great loss for all of us. Al was many things — a journalist, a leader, a serial entrepreneur, and a pioneer in advancing opportunities for women and minorities. But above all, he was an innovator with a unique sense of the public taste. The single greatest marker of those qualities is USA TODAY — built, as he said, to be a reader’s newspaper. That principle continues to guide our journalism today. I will miss his counsel, and I will miss the man. But as with all great people, what Al built will live on.”
“To the end of his life, he was a contrarian in how he tweaked the journalistic establishment, dressed in his flamboyant wardrobe,” said Brokaw. “Al often said (his early failure with a South Dakota sports newspaper) was a humbling and instructive experience, which he didn’t forget as he moved up the executive chain at Gannett and became a newspaper baron. It was a wonderful American life, from a poor family on the Great Plains to the infantry in World War II to the heights of American journalism.”
Neuharth was from South Dakota, where he co-founded a local sports newspaper early in his career. The paper went bankrupt within a year, but after that, he went on to the Miami Herald, climbed the ranks, and eventually went to the Detroit Free Press before later buying Gannett. He founded USA Today in 1982.
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