Allen Neuharth Dies: Founder Of USA Today Dead At 89

Sat, April 20, 2013 11:25am EDT by 1 Comment
Allen Neuharth Dead
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So sad. The newspaper visionary who founded a household name in print journalism died in his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla. on April 19. He was 89 years old.

Allen Neuharth, the former Gannett chairman who founded USA Today and one of the newspaper industry’s most influential figures, died at the age of 89 years old on April 19 after sustaining injuries during a fall at his house in Florida.

Allen Neuharth: Founder Of USA Today Dies At 89

As a parting wish, Allen had written a column to be published in the USA Today after his death. “As a journalist, I had a wonderful window on the world,” Allen wrote. “For nearly 50 years as a reporter and editor, I tried to tell stories accurately and fairly, without opinion.”

In those 50 or so years as a journalist, Allen showed newsroom intelligence and boardroom savvy, turning Gannett into one of the biggest media companies in the world.

Allen will not only be remembered for building a news giant, but for being unafraid of confrontation — he famously traded words with Donald Trump, Ben Bradlee, and Betty Friedan — and for being a champion of women’s rights and minorities.

Allen Neuharth Dies: USA Today Remembers

Members of the USA Today staff grieved his death, but moreso remembered this great man fondly. “Al’s passing is a great loss for all of us in the Gannett family,” said Gannett CEO Gracia Martore. “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.”

“Al Neuharth reinvented news,” said USA Today Publisher Larry Kramer. “Even in our recent efforts to translate his vision into the modern world of digital journalism, we relied on him to tell us if we were going in the right direction.”

Allen Neuharth will always be USA Today, and he won’t soon be forgotten. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

— Andrew Gruttadaro

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