Arthur Ochs Sulzberger

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Arthur Ochs Sulzberger
Punch Sulzberger.png
Sulzberger in 1981
Born(1926-02-05)February 5, 1926
DiedSeptember 29, 2012(2012-09-29) (aged 86)
Other namesPunch Sulzberger
Alma materColumbia University (BA)
OccupationNewspaper publisher
Years active1963–1997
Barbara Winslow Grant
(m. 1948; div. 1956)
Carol Fox Fuhrman
(m. 1956; died 1995)
Allison S. Cowles
(m. 1996; died 2010)
Children4, including Arthur Jr.
AwardsPulitzer Prize
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service1944–1952

Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger Sr. (February 5, 1926 – September 29, 2012) was an American publisher and a businessman. Born into a prominent media and publishing family, Sulzberger became publisher of The New York Times in 1963 and chairman of the board of The New York Times Company in 1973. Sulzberger relinquished to his son, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the office of publisher in 1992, and chairman of the board in 1997.

Early life and education[edit]

Sulzberger was born to a Jewish family on February 5, 1926, in New York City, the son of Arthur Hays Sulzberger and Iphigene Bertha Ochs (daughter of Adolph Ochs, the former publisher and owner of The New York Times and the Chattanooga Times[1] and granddaughter of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise).[2][3] Sulzberger graduated from the Loomis Institute and then enlisted into the United States Marine Corps during World War II, serving from 1944 to 1946, in the Pacific Theater. He earned a B.A. degree in English and history in 1951 at Columbia University. As a member of the Marine Forces Reserve he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. Following completion of officer training, he saw duty in Korea and then in Washington, D.C., before being inactivated.

Publisher of The New York Times[edit]

Sulzberger became publisher of The New York Times in 1963, after the death of his sister Marian's husband, Orvil Dryfoos, who had been publisher for less than two years. Sulzberger was 37 at the time, the youngest publisher in Times history. Prior to Dryfoos, Sulzberger's father, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, and maternal grandfather, Adolph Ochs, were the publishers, and also the chairs of the board of The New York Times Company.[4]

In the 1960s Sulzberger built a large news-gathering staff at The Times. He was its publisher when the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for publishing The Pentagon Papers. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988.[5] His son Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. succeeded him as the newspaper's publisher in 1992. Sulzberger remained chairman of The New York Times Company until October 1997.


In addition to his work at The New York Times, he also served as trustee from 1968 as well as chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1987 to 1998.[6] He was elected as a life trustee of Columbia University in 1967.[7][8]

Personal life and death[edit]

Sulzberger was married three times. In 1948, he married Barbara Winslow Grant [9](of mostly Scottish and English heritage)[10] in a civil ceremony at her parents' home in Purchase, New York.[11] They had two children: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.; and Karen Alden Sulzberger (married to author Eric Lax); before divorcing in 1956.[12][13]

In December 1956, he married Carol Fox Fuhrman; they had one daughter, Cynthia Fox Sulzberger Green, before his wife died in 1995.[4][14] He also adopted Fox's daughter from a previous marriage, Cathy Sulzberger (married to Joseph George Perpich,).[15][16] In 1996, he married Allison Stacey Cowles, widow of William H. Cowles, 3rd (died 1992), who was part of the Cowles family that owns The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington.[17][18]

In 2005, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) honored Sulzberger with the Katharine Graham Lifetime Achievement Award.[19] Sulzberger dedicated the Wellesley College pub, aptly named "Punch's Alley", in honor of his wife, Allison, a class of 1955 Wellesley alum.[20][21]

Sulzberger died of a brain hemorrhage at his home on September 29, 2012.[4][22] He was 86.

Publication of the Pentagon Papers[edit]

On June 13, 1971, The New York Times published the first of seven articles on the Pentagon Papers. According to Floyd Abrams, Sulzberger "made the call to accept the risks rather than those of silence", adding that "In retrospect, the decision may seem obvious, but it was by no means an easy one at the time, and it remains one for which Sulzberger deserves enormous credit."[23]


  1. ^ New York Times: "Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger Is Dead; Central Figure in Times's History" February 27, 1990
  2. ^ American Jewish Archives: "A Finding Aid to the Isaac Mayer Wise Papers. 1838–1931 – Manuscript Collection No. 436" retrieved September 27, 2015
  3. ^ May, Max Benjamin (1992). Isaac Mayer Wise: The Founder of American Judaism; a Biography. Littman Library Of Jewish Civilization. p. 380. ISBN 978-0197100592.
  4. ^ a b c Haberman, Clyde (September 29, 2012). "Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, 1926 – 2012: Publisher Who Transformed The Times for New Era". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter S" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  6. ^ "In Memoriam: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. October 1, 2012. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  7. ^ "Life Trustee Elected at Columbia". The New York Times. 1967-02-07. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  8. ^ "In Memoriam: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, CC'51". Columbia College. October 1, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  9. ^ Barbara Winslow Grant, Mother of Times Chairman, Dies at 90, The New York Times, New York Edition, March 10, 2019, p.A23
  10. ^ New England Historic Genealogical Society - American Ancestors: #42 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: Yankee Ancestors, Mayflower Lines, and Royal Descents and Connections of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. by Gary Boyd Roberts; dated December 1, 1999
  11. ^ Barbara W. Grant Is Bride In Garden" New York Times, (July 3, 1948), p. 7
  12. ^ New Yorker Magazine: "Old Times, New Times" by Edwin Diamond September 30, 1991
  13. ^ "Karen A. Sulzberger Is Wed To Eric Martin Arthur Lax". New York Times. October 24, 1982.
  14. ^ "WEDDINGS; Cynthia Sulzberger, Steven Green". New York Times. June 3, 2001.
  15. ^ "Dr. J. G. Perpich Fiance Of Cathy J. Sulzberger". New York Times. October 27, 1974.
  16. ^ "Cathy J. Sulzberger Is Married". New York Times. December 15, 1974.
  17. ^ Kershner, Jim. "Allison Cowles dies at 75". The Spokesman-Review. April 25, 2010.
  18. ^ New York Times: "WEDDINGS;Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Allison Stacey Cowles" March 10, 1996
  19. ^ "Former Times Publisher Wins Newspaper Award". The New York Times. April 4, 2005. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  20. ^ "Punch's Alley". Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "New York Times ex-chief Arthur Sulzberger Sr dies". BBC News. September 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  23. ^ Floyd Abrams, Speaking Freely, published by Viking Press (2005), Page 12.

External links[edit]


  • Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times, by Edwin Diamond. Villard Books.
  • The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times, by Alex S. Jones, Susan E. Tifft. Back Bay Books (2000), ISBN 0-316-83631-1.
Business positions
Preceded by The New York Times Company Publisher
Succeeded by