Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, retired publisher of The New York Times, has died at age 86. The one-time Marine Corps corporal won the hearts of countless journalists when he decided, at risk of possible arrest and fines, to publish the Pentagon Papers.
I had the good luck to be invited to his office, along with other members of an American Press Institute seminar at Columbia University, for a give-and-take session on journalism’s future.
It was the week of my 40th birthday, making me one year older than Mr. Sulzberger. He told of plans to redesign his famous newspaper, creating new sections and changing from eight narrow columns to six wider columns.
Times readers would not accept sudden changes, he said. So his 1965 plan was to take about a dozen years of gradual moves. Sure enough, the change was completed in 1976. Home delivery of his newspaper is one of the happy satisfactions of my retirement. God bless him and the institution he guided for more than three decades.