Al's Further Adventures

Gannett's former chairman turns his ambition to global philanthropy, largely at Gannett expense

Combative, outspoken Al Neuharth was, on the whole, good to the Gannett Co. He built the firm into the biggest U.S. newspaper chain, gave it a vivacious national flagship, USA Today, and swept up many other media properties. Then again, Gannett was good to Neuharth. It paid him handsomely, and when he retired in 1989, at 65, gave him stock worth $5.1 million and $300,000 a year, guaranteed for life. Any gratitude was short-lived. In the two years since, the man who wrote Confessions of an S.O.B. has turned to global press philanthropy -- in no small measure at Gannett expense.

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