George R. Hearst Jr. dead at 84

June 26, 2012

George W. Hearst Jr.

George R. Hearst Jr. died Monday after falling ill at his Paso Robles home in June. Hearst, 84, was chairman of the board of the Hearst Corp., and died of complications of a stroke at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The grandson of William Randolph Hearst, George was a director of the family corporation for more than 50 years and became chairman in 1986. He grew the corporation into a sprawling conglomerate and media empire with interests in newspapers, magazines, television stations, Internet businesses, real estate and cable television.

He also oversaw operations at the Central Coast’s award-winning Hearst Ranch Winery.

“George was an enthusiastic supporter of the corporation’s growth and diversification strategies,” Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman and CEO of Hearst Corp, told the Chronicle. “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.”

In 2000, the Hearst Corp. bought The San Francisco Chronicle and sold the smaller Examiner. Now operating 15 daily newspapers, the chain includes the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News and the Albany Times Union in New York.

It also runs more than 300 magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Good Housekeeping, Popular Mechanics, and O, the Oprah magazine.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

God Bless all who knew and loved him. May he rest in peace.

My deepest condolences to the Hearst Family. They are a true asset to our community, and it is always sad to lose one of them. George was the salt of the earth. If you ever ran into him in Paso Robles, he was the nicest man. And very approachable. He always said hello whenever he passed someone. Something I miss about Paso today. It is too bad we lost another one of the good guys.