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Nancy Hicks Maynard, 1946-2008

Nancy Hicks Maynard, the first African American woman to own a major daily newspaper and a co-founder of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, died today (Sunday) at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles of organ failure, The Associated Press is reporting. She was 61.

She’s seen here in a 1992 photo with husband Robert Maynard. They married in 1975 when he was at The Washington Post and she was at The New York Times. A year later, they moved to Oakland where they set up the Maynard Institute to train a new generation of journalists. In 1979, he was hired by Gannett to be editor of the Oakland Tribune. Nancy remained involved in both the institute and the Trib.

In fact, the couple bought the Trib from Gannett and operated it until 1992. They sold it to the company now known as MediaNews Group due to Bob’s struggle with cancer. He died Aug. 17, 1993.

In recent years, her partner was Jay Harris, former publisher of the Mercury News. Harris resigned from the Merc in March 2001 because of disagreements with then-owner Knight Ridder over staff reductions.

From the Trib’s obit:

The Tribune obit also included this:

Here’s a portion of the Washington Post’s obit:

(Photo credit: AP file, Olga Shalygin)

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