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It is with deep sadness that I inform you that Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, my father, passed away. Punch, as everyone knew him, brilliantly led The New York Times Company for over three decades – as chairman and CEO of the Times Company and as publisher of The New York Times.
Punch, beloved by his colleagues, was one of our industry’s most admired executives. He spent his entire professional career with the Times Company, beginning in 1951, except for one year when he was a reporter for The Milwaukee Journal. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in both World War II and the Korean War, he was a reporter on The Times's city staff and a foreign correspondent in our Paris, Rome and London bureaus.
Punch, the old Marine captain who never backed down from a fight, was an absolutely fierce defender of the freedom of the press. His inspired leadership in landmark cases such as New York Times v. Sullivan and the Pentagon Papers helped to expand access to critical information and to prevent government censorship and intimidation.
Punch always believed that by closely adhering to our Company’s most fundamental precepts we would greatly enhance our ability to produce outstanding journalism. He was absolutely right: As publisher, Punch established new standards of journalistic excellence, with The Times winning 31 Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure.
In 2001, Punch retired from the Board of Directors after almost 50 years of service to this Company. We commemorated his innumerable accomplishments by creating the Punch Sulzberger Award to celebrate, honor and perpetuate the principles that he championed throughout his illustrious career.
Punch will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends, but we can take some comfort in the fact that his legacy and his abiding belief in the value of quality news and information will always be with us.