Richard B. Scudder (Associated Press Photo)
DENVER (AP) - Richard B. Scudder, co-founder and former chairman of MediaNews Group Inc. who also helped invent a process allowing newsprint to be recycled, died Wednesday at his home in New Jersey. He was 99.
William Dean Singleton, the other founder of Denver-based MediaNews and former chairman of The Associated Press, confirmed the death.
MediaNews Group is a privately-owned company whose newspaper holdings include The Denver Post, The Detroit News and San Jose Mercury News. Its 57 newspapers in 11 states have combined daily circulations of 2.3 million, making MediaNews one of the largest U.S. newspaper companies.
Scudder served as chairman from 1985 through 2009.
Singleton, the chairman of MediaNews Group Inc., said Scudder was the "conscience of the company" who loved newspapers and emphasized the importance of local coverage that was hard-hitting. Singleton said he didn't flinch at spending money to fight for information to be re leased to the public or to defend a reporter's right to protect sources.
"He was a newsman through and through. He was certainly a good businessman, but his heart and soul was always on the news side," Singleton said.
Scudder served in the Army during World War II, earning a Bronze Star. He had learned German as a child and put this knowledge to use writing scripts for a German-language radio station to mislead the Nazis. He remained with the Army in Europe until 1946 working to help civilians take over newspapers that had been run by the Nazis, said Nancy Conway, the editor of The Salt Lake Tribune.
In the early 1950s, Scudder had a hand in inventing a process to remove ink from newsprint so newspapers could be recycled into quality newsprint. After being approached by a news dealer who came up with the idea, Scudder initially tested the process in his office and home before moving the research to university and laboratory settings, according to the Paper I ndustry International Hall of Fame. Scudder was admitted to the hall in 1995.
He went on to found the Garden State Paper Co., whose mill in New Jersey began production in 1961. The firm later became among the largest in the world to recycle newspapers into newsprint.
The Princeton University graduate was a trustee of Princeton University's Environmental Institute, Rutgers University and New Jersey State University.
His wife, Elizabeth Shibley Scudder, died in 2004 at the age of 83. He is survived by daughters Jean Fulmer, Carolyn Miller and Holly Difiani; a son, Charles Scudder, and eight grandchildren.
COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press
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