Former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger has died. According to the Times, Sulzberger’s family said he died Saturday at his Southampton home after a long illness.
He retired in 1992 after three decades at the paper’s helm and was succeeded by his son, Arthur Jr.
During Sulzberger’s tenure, the New York Times won 31 Pulitzer Prizes, published the Pentagon Papers and won a major court victory in New York Times v. Sullivan.
That 1964 Supreme Court ruling shielded the press from libel lawsuits by public officials unless they could prove actual malice.
“In the end, if anybody was going to jail over this, it was the publisher,” said Clyde Haberman of the New York Times. “If anyone was going to have their family’s heritage – if you will, patrimony – put fully on the line, it was him. And many people, quite correctly I think, consider that his finest moment and, in many ways, journalism’s finest moment.”
Sulzberger also started the paper’s national edition, bought its first color presses and introduced popular new sections covering topics such as science, food and entertainment.