William Fine Dies; Publisher was 86

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William Fine, the publisher of dozens of magazines in the 1960s, has died at the age of 86.

According to a New York Times report, Fine died in Beverly Hills, California on Friday, May 17. He is reported to have succumbed to multiple atrophy syndrome.

During the 1960s Fine published magazines for the Hearst Corporation. His magazines included Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and Town & Country. After leaving Hearst, Fine became the president of New York department store Bonwit Teller.

Fine is, perhaps, most well-known for influencing drug law in the U.S. According to the Times, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller once sent Fine to Japan to discover why the country had such low drug addiction rates. Fine's report focused on the harsh sentences drug dealers in Japan were given. Rockefeller soon signed into law harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug possession, increasing prison populations and influencing drug laws for decades to come.

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