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Hearst scion dies

George Hearst Jr, who served as a director of media conglomerate Hearst Corporation for more than 50 years, died on 25 June at the age of 84.
Hearst scion dies
Hearst Corporation, 2007

George Hearst Jr, who served as a director of media conglomerate Hearst Corporation for more than 50 years, died on 25 June at the age of 84.

Hearst died of complications from a stroke at the Stanford University Medical Centre in Palo Alto, California, the family-controlled company said in a statement on 25 June.

He was the great-grandson of George Hearst, who acquired the San Francisco Examiner in 1880, and the oldest grandson of William Randolph Hearst, who famously inspired Orson Welles’s film Citizen Kane and took over the management of the Examiner to expand it into a media empire.

Today the company, which is based in New York, owns television network ESPN, and publishes 15 newspapers in the US and more than 300 magazines worldwide, including Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan.

Hearst was born to George Hearst Sr and Blanche Wilbur in 1927. He first began working at the family business in 1948, when he joined the Los Angeles Examiner. He then worked at the San Francisco Examiner and at the Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express, where he was named business manager.

By 1958, at the age of 31, he was vice-president of Hearst Publishing and sat on the board of Hearst Corporation. In 1996, he succeeded his uncle, Randolph Hearst, as chairman of the media conglomerate, helping expand the company’s interests in the magazine industry. Last year, the firm acquired 102 magazine titles, including Elle, from French media group Lagardere.

Hearst, who spent 10 years in the military, serving in the US Naval Air Corps during World War II and in the army during the Korean War, was also a director of the Hearst Foundation and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation – family charities supporting educational, medical and cultural projects across the US.

He is survived by his twin sister Phoebe, his three children, George, Stephen and Erin, his wife Susan and her three children, as well as six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  

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