Al Neuharth

Al Neuharth

Year Inducted: 1996

Neuharth is the former president and chairman of the Gannett Co. and founder of USA TODAY. He worked his way up from reporter to assistant managing editor in seven years at the Miami Herald in the mid-1950s and was then named assistant executive editor of the Detroit Free-Press.

He moved to the Gannett Company in 1963 as general manager of its two Rochester, New York newspapers, and in 1966 he assumed the added role of president of Gannett Florida and launched FLORIDA TODAY in Melbourne. He then founded USA TODAY, the national newspaper that became the most copied product of its time. While Neuharth was president and chairman of Gannett, the company’s annual revenues increased from $200 million to $3.1 billion annually.

Since retiring in 1989, he was named Chairman of the Freedom Foundation, which disperses nearly $50 million annually in the areas of free press, free speech and free spirit in the United States and around the world. The Washington Journalism Review named him the most influential person in print media for the decade of the 1980s.