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George R. Hearst Jr., chairman of Hearst Corp. and president of the Hearst Foundation, died on Monday at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, Calif., due to complications following a stroke. He was 84 years old.
Hearst, the oldest grandson of the late William Randolph Hearst, had been involved with the company since 1948 and served as a director for more than 53 years. During his career, he worked for the San Francisco Examiner and served as publisher of the Los Angeles Examiner and the Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express. He also worked as vice president of Hearst Corp. and head of its real estate activities.
“George was an enthusiastic supporter of the corporation’s growth and diversification strategies,” said Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of Hearst Corp. “As chairman of the board, he brought his vast experience and wisdom to bear during a time of incredible growth and helped guide us through periods of enormous change. Although always calling every situation as he saw it, George was the most supportive and steadfast chairman a ceo could possibly have. He will be greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with him.”
Hearst Magazines president David Carey said Hearst was a strong advocate for last year’s acquisition of nearly 100 magazines from Lagardère. “He had long been a champion of diversification across Hearst and the Lagardère deal was something he recognized as a rare opportunity to significantly add to our business in important and growing markets around the world,” said Carey.
Hearst is survived by his twin sister, Phoebe Hearst Cooke; wife Susan and her daughter Jessica Gonzalves and her two children; his three children, George R. Hearst 3rd, Stephen T. Hearst and Erin Hearst Knudsen; six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Hearst is predeceased by his oldest child, Mary “Bunny” Hearst Ives, who died in 2004.
Services will be private but a celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.