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Arthur O. Sulzberger, the man responsible for making the New York Times the paper you know it as today, passed away on Saturday after a long fight with illness at his home in Southampton. 

Sulzberger will be remembered as the person who put the Times at the forefront of the American conversation. Sulzberger took over the role of the paper's publisher from his father in 1963 and held that position until 1992 when he passed it to his son, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. The elder Sulzberger was responsible for distributing the Times nationally, bringing the distribution numbers up from 714,000 when he became publisher to 1.1 million when he left. Annual revenues jumped from $100 million to $1.7 billion. 

Sulzberger Jr. describes his father as "an absolutely fierce defender of the freedom of the press," in the Times' obituary. It is quite long, but we encourage you to read it if you have any interest in the history of the press in the U.S. At over 7,000 words, it's a fitting and full portrait of a man responsible for the evolution of the Times, and the papers that followed their lead, from the being turn of the century newspapers into the news behemoths we know today. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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