Nan Tucker McEvoy, the last member of the founder’s family to head The San Francisco Chronicle and a prominent olive oil rancher in Petaluma, died on Thursday (March 26) at her apartment in San Francisco. She was 95.
The granddaughter of M. H. de Young, who founded The Chronicle in 1865, McEvoy was the chairwoman of Chronicle Publishing, which included The Chronicle, KRON-TV and other media holdings, from 1981 to 1995.
After the 1994 newspaper strike, members of the de Young family became interested in selling Chronicle Publishing, but McEvoy — who held the largest single share of the company — said the company was not for sale.
“She seemed to be the last member of the family who cared about the people who worked here, and that was important to us,” said Carl Nolte, who has been a reporter at The Chronicle since 1961.
But in 1999, she agreed to sell Chronicle Publishing to the Hearst Corp. Then, McEvoy devoted her energy to her olive oil business.
McEvoy was a founding member of the Peace Corps and a special assistant to the organization’s first director, R. Sargent Shriver. An active philanthropist, she was a board member of the University of California, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the San Francisco Symphony, among other organizations.
Phyllis Ann Tucker was born on July 15, 1919, in San Mateo, the daughter of Nion Tucker and the former Phyllis de Young.
Her marriage to the publishing executive Dennis McEvoy ended in divorce. In addition to her son, she is survived by three grandchildren. Here’s the Chronicle’s obit.