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Hearst family member dies aged 85

Phoebe Hearst Cooke, a member of the Hearst family and well known for her philanthropic endeavours, died on 18 November aged 85.

Phoebe Hearst Cooke, a member of the Hearst family and well known for her philanthropic endeavours, died on 18 November aged 85.

American media giant Hearst Corporation said in a statement that Phoebe died of pneumonia.

The granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, who set up the family business after taking control of the San Francisco Examiner, Phoebe served on the company’s board of directors for 36 years.

“[She] brought great energy, commitment and focus to every facet of her life,” said Frank Bennack Jr, non-family chief executive, in the release. “Her accomplishments were considerable and her loss is deeply felt.”

Named after her great-grandmother, Phoebe was known in California for her love for equestrian causes and support of young riders. She founded the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy in 1971 – an organisation offering horse-riding programmes for children and adults with special needs.

The released added that Phoebe was also “deeply involved” with the family’s charitable foundation, set up by her grandfather.

Phoebe, who was married to Amory Jack Cooke – a former member of Hearst’s board of directors – for 45 years before Cooke died in 2008, was also inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Fame for her ongoing support and involvement in its activities.

New York-based Hearst today owns 15 newspapers in the US and publishes more than 300 magazines worldwide, including Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.

With revenues of more than $3 billion (€2.3 billion), Hearst also has interests in television and radio broadcasting.

Phoebe’s twin brother George Hearst Jr, a former chairman of the media conglomerate, died in June this year. Phoebe is survived by a daughter from her first marriage to Philip Tovrea and a grandson.

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