Vince Spezzanno

Vince Spezzanno

Year Inducted: 2000

Vince Spezzano began his 41-year newspaper career in 1950 as a reporter for the Livingston Republican in Geneseo, N.Y. He worked at newspapers in Lynchburg, Va. and St. Louis, Mo, and in 1963 became director of public service for Gannett Times-Union and Democrat, and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y.

In 1966 he helped launch and promote Today, in Broward County, before becoming the director of public service for Gannett Corp. In 1975 he was named publisher of Florida Today, and headed the task force that paved the way to the launching of USA TODAY.

Later, Vince served as executive vice president and then president of Florida Today, while also serving as publisher of USA TODAY.

In 1985, he returned to N.Y. as publisher of Gannett Rochester Newspapers, but remained chairman of Florida Today until his retirement in 1991. He then returned to Cocoa Beach, where he lived until his death in 1999.

Spezzano was widely known for his leadership and contributions in the newspaper industry and his interaction in the local community.