Richard Betts Scudder (May 13, 1913 – July 11, 2012) was an American newspaper pioneer, newspaper publisher, journalist, and co-founder of the MediaNews Group, the second largest newspaper company in the United States. The company owns fifty-seven daily newspapers in eleven U.S. states, as of 2012. He served as the chairman of MediaNews from 1985 until 2009. Scudder is also considered an innovator and pioneer of newspaper recycling. He founded the Garden State Paper Company, which later became one of the world's largest newspaper recycling companies.
Scudder was born to parents, Edward Wallace Scudder and Katherine Hollifield Scudder, on May 13, 1913, in Newark, New Jersey. He was named for Richard Betts Scudder, an ancestor who fought in the French and Indian War. Another ancestor, Colonel Nathaniel Scudder, was one of two delegates from New Jersey who signed the Articles of Confederation. Scudder has bloodlines that can be traced back to King John of Gaunt, (and King Edward III) and that can be traced through John Throckmorton (a gateway ancestor), back to the Magna Carta.
In September 1883, Scudder's grandfather, Wallace M. Scudder, founded the former Newark Evening News. Scudder's father, Edward Wallace Scudder, operated the newspaper. Richard B. Scudder later became the publisher of Newark Evening News from 1952 until the publication's closure in 1972.
In 1935, Scudder earned a bachelor's degree in Economics, with honors, from Princeton University. Richard Scudder was very proud that he was part of an 8 generation Princeton graduate family, including a member who graduated from as part of Princeton's first graduating class. According to its alumni department, Richard Betts Scudder is part of the largest alumni family, thus far, in Princeton University history. A small sample includes: U.S. Rep. John A. Scudder (1775), Rev. John Scudder M.D. (1811), Edward Wallace Scudder I (1844) Hon. George Drake Scudder (1876), Edward Wallace Scudder II (1903), Charles Damarin Scudder I (1907), Charles Damarin Scudder II (1935), and Charles Damarin Scudder III (1963), and brother Edward Wallace Scudder III (1935). Richard Scudder's son and multiple grand kids have attended Princeton University. Richard B. Scudder (1935), and Edward W. Scudder (1935), together made the gift for Scudder Plaza in honor of their father, Edward Wallace Scudder (1903).
Richard B. Scudder enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served within Operation Annie, an Allied German-language counter-propaganda radio station. Scudder earned the rank of Major and the Bronze Star. In 1944, he married his wife, Elizabeth Shibley. Scudder returned to New Jersey from Europe in 1946 and took a position as a reporter at theBoston Herald and a subsequent journalist position for the Newark Evening News, the newspaper his grandfather founded in 1883. 
In 1983, Scudder partnered with William Dean Singleton to purchase the Gloucester County Times. The South Jersey daily newspaper, which had a daily circulation of approximately 26,000 at the time, would become the first newspaper of the duo's MediaNews Group. Scudder and Singleton, who had been friends before they became business partners, soon purchased other newspapers - four in California and four in Ohio, financed largely by Scudder. Today, MediaNews, a privately owned company, owns major papers like The Denver Post, The Detroit News, The Oakland Tribune, The San Jose Mercury News and The El Paso Times. Over all, MediaNews has 57 daily newspapers in 11 states with a combined circulation of 2.3 million, making it the nation’s second-largest newspaper company after the Gannett Company. MediaNews also owns 122 nondaily newspapers in nine states. Scudder served as MediaNews' chairman from 1985 until 2009, while Singleton is currently the company's chairman. Today, MediaNews is the second-largest newspaper company in the U.S., surpassed only by the Gannett Company. MediaNews' combined, nationwide circulation stands at 2.3 million, which are published by 57 daily newspapers nationwide. The company also owns 122 weekly or monthly newspapers, which are published in nine U.S. states.
Richard Betts Scudder died at his home in the Navesink section of Middletown, New Jersey, on July 11, 2012, at the age of 99. His wife, Elizabeth Shibley Scudder, died at the age of 84 in 2003. He was survived by one son, three daughters, eight grandchildren, several grand-nieces and nephews, and a few cousins and close extended family members.
- Hevesi, Dennis (2012-07-15). "Richard B. Scudder, Co-Founder of MediaNews Group, Dies at 99". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Rudnquist, Jeanette (2012-07-12). "Late Newark Evening News publisher Richard B. Scudder remembered as 'newsman's newsman'". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-08-10.