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George Randolph Hearst, Jr
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George R. Hearst Jr., chairman of the Hearst Corporation and the oldest grandson of the media titan William Randolph Hearst, died on Monday in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 84.

Phil Klein/Associated Press
George R. Hearst Jr. in 1998.
The cause was complications of a stroke, said Lisa Bagley, a spokeswoman for the corporation.

Mr. Hearst was a director of Hearst, a privately held corporation, for more than 50 years and its chairman since 1996, helping to steer the company as it expanded its interests in newspapers, magazines, television stations, cable television, real estate and other enterprises.

It currently owns 15 daily newspapers, including The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express-News and The Albany Times Union. It also owns 36 weekly newspapers and more than 300 magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping and Popular Mechanics. Last year, it acquired nearly 100 magazines in 14 countries from the Lagardère Group, a French-based conglomerate.

George Randolph Hearst Jr. was named after his father and his great-grandfather. The first George Hearst was a successful owner of silver, gold and copper mines who became a United States senator from California and, in 1880, acquired The San Francisco Examiner as payment for a gambling debt. Seven years later, Senator Hearst turned over control of The Examiner to 24-year-old William Randolph, who had dropped out of Harvard, "and to the surprise of everyone made it a success," said David Nasaw, author of "The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst" (2000). William Randolph Hearst "was the first media mogul, because he expanded his newspaper empire into magazines, newsreels and radio," Mr. Nasaw said.

George R. Hearst Jr. started his newspaper career as a classified advertising salesman at The San Francisco Examiner. He went on to become publisher of The Los Angeles Examiner, business manager and publisher of The Los Angeles Evening Herald Express, publisher of what became The Los Angeles Herald Examiner and, by 1977, vice president of the Hearst Corporation. He became chairman in March 1996, succeeding his uncle, Randolph A. Hearst, who retired.

George R. Hearst was born in San Francisco on July 13, 1927, to Blanche and George Hearst Sr. He attended the University of New Mexico and the University of Southern California, and served for nearly 10 years in the military, first in the Navy during World War II and then in the Army from 1950 to 1954.

He is survived by his wife, Susan; his twin sister, Phoebe Hearst Cooke; two sons, George III and Stephen; a daughter, Erin Hearst Knudsen; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 28, 2012

An obituary on Wednesday about George Randolph Hearst Jr., the former chairman of the Hearst Corporation, misstated the circumstances under which he took that post in 1996. It was after the retirement — not death — of his uncle, Randolph A. Hearst. (He died in 2000.)
Added by: Pat McArron
11/20/2012
 
 
 
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