Former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, who led the company for 34 years in a period of growth that made it a multibillion-dollar media enterprise, died on Saturday at the age of 86, the newspaper said.
Sulzberger, whose family bought the Times in 1896, died at his home in Southampton, New York, after a lengthy illness, his family said.
Sulzberger, known by his childhood nickname Punch, became publisher of the Times in 1963 and turned over that job to his son, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., in 1992. He handed the chairman's position to his son in 1997.
"Punch, beloved by his colleagues, was one of our industry's most admired executives," Sulzberger Jr. said in a statement.
The elder Sulzberger helped the company achieve financial stability and nationwide distribution, as well as add other newspapers, magazines, television, radio and online operations.
The Times won 31 Pulitzer Prizes during Sulzberger's tenure as well as two important freedom-of-the-press fights.