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Sulzberger in 1981
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger
February 5, 1926
New York City, U.S.
|Died||September 29, 2012 (aged 86)|
Southampton, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Children||4, including Arthur Jr.|
|Relatives||Adolph Ochs (grandfather)|
Isaac Mayer Wise (great-grandfather)
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1944-1952|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger Sr. (February 5, 1926 - September 29, 2012) was an American publisher and a businessman. Born into a prominent media and publishing family, Sulzberger became publisher of The New York Times in 1963 and chairman of the board of The New York Times Company in 1973. Sulzberger relinquished to his son, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the office of publisher in 1992, and chairman of the board in 1997.
Sulzberger was born to a Jewish family on February 5, 1926 in New York City, the son of Arthur Hays Sulzberger and Iphigene Bertha Ochs (daughter of Adolph Ochs, the former publisher and owner of The New York Times and the Chattanooga Times and granddaughter of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise). Sulzberger graduated from the Loomis Institute and then enlisted into the United States Marine Corps during World War II, serving from 1944 to 1946, in the Pacific Theater. He earned a B.A. degree in English and history in 1951 at Columbia University. As a member of the Marine Forces Reserve he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. Following completion of officer training, he saw duty in Korea and then in Washington, D.C., before being inactivated.
Sulzberger became publisher of The New York Times in 1963, after the death of his sister Marian's husband, Orvil Dryfoos, who had been publisher for less than two years. Sulzberger was 37 at the time, the youngest publisher in Times history. Prior to Dryfoos, Sulzberger's father, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, and maternal grandfather, Adolph Ochs, were the publishers, and also the chairs of the board of The New York Times Company.
In the 1960s Sulzberger built a large news-gathering staff at The Times. He was its publisher when the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for publishing The Pentagon Papers. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988. His son Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. succeeded him as the newspaper's publisher in 1992. Sulzberger remained chairman of The New York Times Company until October 1997.
Sulzberger was married three times. In 1948, he married Barbara Winslow Grant (of mostly Scottish and English heritage) in a civil ceremony at her parents' home in Purchase, New York. They had two children: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.; and Karen Alden Sulzberger (married to author Eric Lax); before divorcing in 1956.
In December 1956, he married Carol Fox Fuhrman; they had one daughter, Cynthia Fox Sulzberger Green, before his wife died in 1995. He also adopted Fox's daughter from a previous marriage, Cathy Sulzberger (married to Joseph George Perpich, brother of Anthony J. Perpich, George F. Perpich, and Rudy Perpich). In 1996, he married Allison Stacey Cowles, widow of William H. Cowles, 3rd (died 1992), who was part of the Cowles family that owns The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash.
In 2005, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) honored Sulzberger with the Katharine Graham Lifetime Achievement Award. Sulzberger dedicated the Wellesley College pub, aptly named "Punch's Alley", in honor of his wife, Allison, a class of 1955 Wellesley alum.
On June 13, 1971, The New York Times published the first of seven articles on the Pentagon Papers. According to Floyd Abrams, Sulzberger "made the call to accept the risks rather than those of silence", adding that "In retrospect, the decision may seem obvious, but it was by no means an easy one at the time, and it remains one for which Sulzberger deserves enormous credit."