|Death: ||Jan. 3, 2010|
South Carolina, USA
Samuel Alexander Cothran, of Aiken, died January 3, 2010.
After a distinguished career in Charleston, Mr. Cothran came to Aiken in 1968 to head the newspaper that had just been purchased by Evening Post Publishing Company. Not only did he build a strong newspaper company, Mr. Cothran had enormous influence on the Aiken community. He was honored as Man of the Year by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce in 1989.
A native of Laurens, Mr. Cothran attended public school in Charlotte. When his father, an engineer, went to Canada to build two large hydroelectric plants, he entered Bishop's College School in Lennoxville, Quebec.
He graduated from the McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN and was an alumnus of Davidson College and a cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina.
As a college student, he served as a special correspondent for The Charlotte Observer while a student at Davidson and did summer work at The Index-Journal in Greenwood. In 1939, he joined the staff of The News and Courier in Charleston. Called to service in the Army Infantry in 1941, he served in the European Theater during World War II and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel while still in his 20s. In 1945, he returned to The News and Courier and became managing editor in 1960. Evening Post Publishing Company is based in Charleston. In 1968, it published the Post and Courier and the Evening Post. When it began to build a larger media company that now includes more than 20 newspapers, television stations and other companies, it called on Mr. Cothran to lead the effort in Aiken. The Aiken Standard and Review was purchased from Annie Howell King. At that time, it was published Monday through Friday and had a circulation of around 2,000. By the time Mr. Cothran retired in 1989, the circulation had grown to nearly 15,000, and a Sunday paper had been added. Mr. Cothran chose the site and oversaw the construction of the Rutland Drive building that still houses the Aiken Standard. When the newspaper was moved to the new building in 1969, the printing method changed from hot type to offset. The building also housed Aiken Cablevision Inc. As president of Aiken Communications, Mr. Cothran managed both the newspaper and cablevision, until the cable operation was sold in 1983.
He served on and led numerous civic organizations. While serving on the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce board of directors, a group he later chaired, he was influential in naming Aiken's Triple Crown of Racing. And he also suggested that Aiken was worthy of a Racing Hall of Fame. The Aiken Jaycees agreed and worked to refurbish the former stables at Hopelands Gardens into today's Hall of Fame. Cothran's frequent editorials in the early 1970s also helped advance health care in Aiken County.
Mr. Cothran was also a leader with Hitchcock Woods. While much of the Woods was preserved in a trust, some land surrounding the Woods - thought to be part of the trust - was actually privately owned. As chairman of the Hitchcock Foundation Board of Trustees, Cothran worked to add these areas to the trust. He also served as president of Friends of Hopelands and served as a member of the advisory board of the Salvation Army and as a board member of the Aiken Chapter of the American Red Cross.
He was an elder at First Presbyterian Church and was a Rotarian. Mr. Cothran was a member of several professional organizations, including the S.C. Press Association, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Newspaper Association. He once served as president of the S.C. Associated Press News Council.
Mr. Cothran is survived by his beloved wife, Nona Owens Crane Cothran; three sons, Samuel A. (Cecile) Cothran Jr. of Summerville, Thomas C. (Virginia) Cothran of Minneapolis, MN, and Frank C. (Carolyn) Cothran of Mt. Pleasant; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Interment was in Edgewood Cemetery, Greenwood.
Nona Owens Crane Cothran (1918 - 2011)*
South Carolina, USA
Created by: Just another taphophile
Record added: Jan 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46404543
Added: Nov. 11, 2011
Added: Sep. 28, 2010