George Randolph Hearst Jr., chairman of Hearst Corp. and the eldest grandson of newspaper and magazine publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, died yesterday of complications following a stroke. He was 84.
His career at the family business began in 1948 and included jobs on the staff of the San Francisco Examiner, as publisher of the Los Angeles Examiner, Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express and Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and manager of Hearst Corp.’s real-estate holdings.
He also was president of the Hearst Foundation and a director of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Many individuals in the Hearst family remain as employees of the New York City-based company and as members of the governing board, spokeswoman Lisa Bagley said today. They include his two sons, George III, publisher of the Albany Times Union, and Stephen, vice president and general manager of Hearst’s San Francisco-based Western Properties.
Hearst publishes 15 daily U.S. newspapers and magazines including Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan and Esquire, and it runs 29 television stations and two radio stations, according to its website. The corporation is owned by The Hearst Family Trust, established in the will of William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951.
The company traces its beginning to 1887, when William Randolph Hearst took over the San Francisco Daily Examiner. His father, George Hearst, a miner and California politician, bought the newspaper seven years earlier.
George Randolph Hearst Jr. was born on July 13, 1927, in San Francisco to George R. Hearst Sr., the eldest son of William Randolph Hearst, and the former Blanche Wilbur. George Sr. was vice president at the Hearst Corp.
Hearst enlisted in the Naval Air Corps in World War II and served in the Army during the Korean War, including service as a combat helicopter pilot, according to the company statement.
Survivors include his twin sister, Phoebe Hearst Cooke; his wife, Susan, and her daughter, Jessica Gonzalves; his three children, George, Stephen and Erin Hearst Knudsen; and a cousin, Patricia Hearst Shaw, who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974. His oldest child, Mary “Bunny” Hearst Ives, died in 2004.