Edward Skinner

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  • "It was a shock to hear that Ed had passed away. I had just..."
    - Elizabeth Cosnahan-Whitley
  • "A mighty fine gentleman, great leader and mentor. My..."
    - Nancy Powell
  • "I worked at the Newspaper from 1979 to 2003. I found Mr...."
    - Carla Moore
  • "Sincere sympathy to the Skinner family. God bless you all..."
    - Marsha Radford
  • "My best to Ed's family, was a solid person with a gentle..."
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - The man who helped lead Augusta's newspapers and the newspaper industry through the innovation of offset printing and into the computerized world has died at the age of 86, Edward B. Skinner Jr., 719 Chipandie Drive, Augusta, semi-retired vice president of Morris Communications Company, died at his residence. Mr. Skinner not only rose from a 14-year-old manager to the highest ranking employee of The Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald and helped those newspapers begin industry-wide trends during his career; he advanced to vice president over all newspapers belonging to their parent company. He also assumed a host of community leadership positions in the Augusta area, helping the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and Augusta's Bush Field Airport. He found himself as mentor to dozens of employees who rose to their own level of success in the newspaper industry. Mr. Skinner started delivering the evening Augusta Herald at age 11 and became an assistant district manager overseeing other carriers by age 14. By the time he officially retired in 1999, he had served 17 years in the highest management position at the newspapers, before becoming Morris Communications Company's vice president for newspapers. Born in Hephzibah Dec. 24, 1928, to Edward B. and Anna Florence Skinner, he worked his way through public schools and the ranks of the newspapers simultaneously. After his start in the circulation department, promotions and increased responsibilities came in a flurry as he graduated to "printer's devil" (an aid to journeymen printers) in 1944 at age 16, and on to practically every job in the production department by 1968, despite taking two years beginning in 1950 to serve as a radar chief in the U.S. Army. He also became a workforce leader for the Augusta newspapers, serving as president of the local chapter of the International Typographical Union and sitting across the bargaining table from Morris management before deciding the union was no longer viable and helping to shut it down. By 1972, Mr. Skinner had been named business manager of the Augusta newspapers, a position that evolved a year later into general manager with all departments reporting to him. He was promoted to corporate vice president in 1988 and helped grow the stable of daily newspapers to 31 before stepping down. After retirement, he continued to serve Morris Communications as special projects consultant and representative of the company on various boards, maintaining an office in the building annex he helped design and build. Augusta's newspapers developed a reputation for innovation and leadership during his years there. They were among the first to move from "hot type" operations using molten lead to produce type, to computer driven "cold type" print. In 1964, the Augusta papers installed the first computer "front end" typesetting system that captured the keystroke of writers and editors and in 1969 they became the first "dual cycle" (morning and afternoon) operation to move to offset printing. In the early 1980s, the Augusta newspapers developed the first computerized typesetting system using personal computers. During these years he also served the newspaper industry as president of the Georgia Associated Press and on the production committees of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the American Newspaper Publishers Association (now the Newspaper Association of America.) Mr. Skinner also served two terms as president of the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce, six years as chairman of the Augusta Aviation Commission overseeing Bush Field, and as a charter member of the board of directors of Augusta Tomorrow. He also served on boards of the Salvation Army, the United Way, the Red Cross and the Pinnacle Club. Services will be held on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. at the Chapel of Thomas Poteet & Son with Dr. G. Daniel McCall officiating. Members of the Exchange Club of Augusta will serve as honorary pallbearers. Survivors include his wife, Helen Antonopoulos Skinner; two daughters, Anna Rebecca Skinner and Mary Helen Skinner Lenz (Mike); and a son, James V. Cook II (Kathy). All reside in Augusta. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 at Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at www.thomaspoteet.com The Augusta Chronicle-October 1, 2015

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Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors
214 Davis Road
Augusta, GA 30907
(706) 364-8484
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