Arthur Ochs Sulzberger

Manhattan, New York, New York

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Arthur Ochs Sulzberger

Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: New York, New York, New York, United States
Death: September 29, 2012 (86)
Southampton, Suffolk, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Arthur Hays Sulzberger and Iphigene Bertha Sulzberger
Husband of <private> Grant and <private> Sulzberger (Fox)
Father of <private> Sulzberger; <private> Sulzberger and <private> Sulzberger
Brother of <private> Sulzberger; Ruth Rachel Holmberg and Judith P. Sulzberger

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Immediate Family

About Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Arthur Sulzberger, longtime New York Times publisher, dead at 86 By the CNN Wire Staff updated 11:31 AM EDT, Sat September 29, 2012 STORY HIGHLIGHTS Sulzberger died after a long illness He served as publisher for nearly three decades He expanded the Times and increased profits He decided to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971 New York (CNN) -- Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the influential publisher of The New York Times who served from 1963 to 1992, has died at age 86, the newspaper reported Saturday. Sulzberger died Saturday at his home in Southampton, New York, after a long illness, the paper said, citing his family. He also served as chairman and chief executive of The New York Times Company from 1963 until 1997, when he passed the reins to his son, the paper reported. The Sulzberger family has helmed the paper since 1896, when it was bought by Adolph Ochs, Sulzberger's grandfather. With the family having such a long history at the Times, some staffers felt like part of the family, too. "For those of us working at the NYT, the passing of Arthur O. Sulzberger has the sharp feel of a death in the family," wrote Times national correspondent John Schwartz on Twitter. Jim Roberts,an assistant managing editor at the Times, called the late publisher a "monumental contributor to journalism." When Sulzberger took over the paper in 1963, the paper was respected and influential, often setting the national agenda, the Times said. But it also had financial troubles. Under Sulzberger's tenure, the Times was transformed into a paper with a national scope, sold on both coasts, and at the heart of a diversified, multibillion-dollar media operation that included newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, the Times said. "Mr. Sulzberger's insistence on independence was shown in his decision in 1971 to publish a secret government history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers," Times columnist Clyde Haberman wrote in Saturday's obituary. "It was a defining moment for him and, in the view of many journalists and historians, his finest." The Nixon administration demanded the Times stop its series of articles on the papers, citing national security, but the newspaper refused on First Amendment grounds. It won its case in the U.S. Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling on press freedom. Sulzberger was also responsible for expanding the newspaper from two sections to four, separating metropolitan and business news and introducing new ones geared toward consumers, the Times said. The sections were SportsMonday, Science Times, Living, Home and Weekend. They were a gamble, aimed at attracting new readers and advertisers, but they became an instant success and were widely imitated, the Times said. A billion-dollar investment in new printing facilities enabled the paper to have a national edition, regional editions, and the daily use of color photos and graphics, according to the Times. "Punch," as many called him, remained on the board of directors until his retirement in 2001. "Punch will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends, but we can take some comfort in the fact that his legacy and his abiding belief in the value of quality news and information will always be with us," wrote his son, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger, Sr., born February 5, 1926, to a prominent media and publishing family, is himself an American publisher and businessman. He succeeded his father, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, and maternal grandfather as publisher and chairman of the New York Times in 1963, passing the positions to his son Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. in 1992.


He was born on February 5, 1926 in New York City to Arthur Hays Sulzberger and Iphigene Bertha Ochs (daughter of Adolph Ochs, the former publisher and owner of The New York Times and The Chattanooga Times). Sulzberger graduated from the Loomis Institute and then enlisted into the United States Marine Corps during World War II serving from 1944 to 1946, in the Pacific Theater. He married Barbara Winslow Grant (of mostly Scottish and English origin) on July 2, 1948 in a civil ceremony at her parents' home in Purchase, New York. He earned a B.A. degree in English and History in 1951 at Columbia University. As a Marine Forces Reserve he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. Following completion of officer training, he saw duty in Korea and then in Washington, D.C., before being inactivated. He divorced Barbara Grant Sulzberger in 1956.

He became publisher of The Times in 1963, after the death of his brother-in-law, Orvil Dryfoos. In the 1960s Sulzberger built a large news-gathering staff at The Times, and was publisher when the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for publishing The Pentagon Papers. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988. His son Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. succeeded him as the newspaper's publisher in 1992. Sulzberger remained chairman of The New York Times Company until October 1997. In 2005, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) honored Sulzberger with the Katharine Graham Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1996, he married Allison Cowles, part of the Cowles family which owns The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash.

Quotes about Sulzberger

"Eventually, Sulzberger, then in London, rejecting the views of some of his colleagues in senior management as well as the dire warnings of his outside counsel, made the call to accept the risks of publication rather than those of silence. On Sunday, June 13, [1971], the Times published the first in a series of seven articles about the Pentagon Papers. In retrospect, the decision may seem obvious, but it was by no means an easy one at the time, and it remains one for which Sulzberger deserves enormous credit." Floyd Abrams.

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Arthur Ochs Sulzberger's Timeline

February 5, 1926
New York, New York, New York, United States
Age 3
Manhattan, New York, New York
September 29, 2012
Age 86
Southampton, Suffolk, New York, United States