James S. Copley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

James Strohn Copley (1916 - October 6, 1973) was a journalist and newspaper publisher. He published the San Diego Union The San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego Evening Tribune from 1947 until his death in 1973, and was President of the Inter American Press Association (1969 - 1970).[1] His politics was "unabashedly conservative, Republican and pro-American".[2] He had close associations with leading Republican of the era, including Barry Goldwater, Richard M. Nixon and Spiro Agnew. Copley's presence was a chief reason that the Republican National Convention of 1972 was originally planned to be in San Diego.

Copley was born in St. Johnsville, New York, the son of Flora and John Lodwell. His parents died in the Influenza epidemic of 1917-1918.[3] Copley was adopted at age four by Col. Ira Clifton Copley, who later (in 1928) bought The San Diego Union and the San Diego Evening Tribune. Copley graduated from Yale in 1939.[2] At Yale, he served on the business staff of campus humor magazine The Yale Record with Roy D. Chapin, Jr. and Walter J. Cummings, Jr.[4] After college, he went into journalism, becoming the CEO of the Union-Tribune group on Ira Copley's death in 1947. He remained CEO until his death in 1973, when his wife, Helen K. Copley, took over.[5] The Union and the Tribune merged in 1992 to become The San Diego Union-Tribune. The Copley Press also published smaller papers in California and the Midwest, including the Torrance, California Daily Breeze, San Pedro, California News-Pilot, Aurora, Illinois Beacon-News, and the Burbank, California Daily Review.

According to Carl Bernstein, Copley, as CEO of Copley Press, cooperated with the Central Intelligence Agency, which had widespread contacts in the US media.[6]

The University of San Diego has a library named in honour of Copley and his wife (the Helen K. and James S. Copley Library).[7] Copley resided in La Jolla, CA, and often stayed at a second home in Borrego Springs, CA.


  1. ^ Inter American Press Association, Presidentes de la SIP: James S. Copley, accessed 20 September 2009
  2. ^ a b San Diego Historical Society, James S. Copley (1916-1973), accessed 20 September 2009
  3. ^ http://www.norcalmediamuseum.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=104&Itemid=108
  4. ^ Yale Banner and Pot Pourri: Freshman Edition. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1937. p. 106.
  5. ^ The San Diego Union-Tribune, About The Union-Tribune, accessed 20 September 2009
  6. ^ Carl Bernstein, "The CIA and the Media," Rolling Stone, 20 October 1977, pp. 65-67.
  7. ^ University of San Diego, About Copley Library