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Media family business icon Hearst dies

John Randolph Hearst Jr, grandson of the founder of media conglomerate Hearst Corporation, died on 5 November aged 77.

John Randolph Hearst Jr, grandson of the founder of media conglomerate Hearst Corporation, died on 5 November aged 77.

Hearst, who was a trustee of the family’s foundation and a member of the family business’s board of directors, joined the media group in the 1950s. He began as a photographer for a newspaper owned by Hearst Corporation and later moved on to work within other newspaper divisions of the group.

“John was always very devoted to the company founded by his grandfather,” said Frank Bennack Jr, chief executive of Hearst Corporation, in a statement. “Those of us who served with him on the various Hearst boards remember his great wit and interest in everything the company and foundations were doing.”

Hearst is also known for writing an article for Reader’s Digest in 1960, detailing his relationship with his grandfather William Randolph Hearst, founder of the New York-based media giant. Hearst said that one thing he learned from his grandfather was the “power of newspapers”. William was also the model for film Citizen Kane, considered by many as one of the greatest American films of all time.

Hearst Corporation, whose operations span more than 300 magazines including Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan, television stations such as ESPN, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle, did not disclose the reason for Hearst’s death. He is survived by his daughter and three grandchildren.

The privately-owned conglomerate, which was one of CampdenFB’s top 100 family businesses in North America, had 2010 revenues of $3.25 billion (€2.36 billion). Family member George Randolph Hearst Jr is currently chairman of the company board.

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