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'New York Times' ex-chief Arthur Sulzberger Sr dies, aged 86

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Arthur Sulzberger Sr has died, aged 86.

The former New York Times chief ran the American newspaper for over three decades, before passing it down to his son.

New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger

© PA Images / Anthony Camerano/AP



The publisher took control of the newspaper in 1963, helping rescue it from serious financial trouble into one of the leading publications in the US.

He passed away at his home in Southampton, New York after a long illness, his family confirmed.

His son Arthur Sulzberger Jr said that he was "one of our industry's most admired executives".

Referring to his nickname, he added: "Punch, the old Marine captain who never backed down from a fight, was an absolutely fierce defender of the freedom of the press."

Sulzberger Sr's grandfather Adolph Ochs purchased The New York Times in 1896.

After taking over the paper, he saw its parent company's annual revenues increase from $100m ($62m) in 1963 to $1.7bn (£1.05bn) by his departure in in 1997.

During his time as chief, he had overseen several clashes with the US government, including infamous articles about the Vietnam War in 1971.

The Times alleged that politicians had lied about America's involvement in the war, including the leaking of thousands of documents which became known as the 'Pentagon Papers'.

Richard Nixon's administration told the paper to stop publishing the articles, but the Times won a court case battle, arguing that the constitution allowed such cases of free speech.

Sulzberger Sr's family still holds a controlling stake in the company to this day.

Former BBC director general Mark Thompson was appointed the new president and CEO of The New York Times last month.

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