Dick Scaife, 1932-2014
Indeed, we mourn the loss of our owner, publisher and friend today. But we also celebrate the life of no less than a renaissance man.
Dick Scaife died early Friday, the day after his 82nd birthday and, fittingly, if one's passing can be fitting, on Independence Day. After all, Dick was one of the grandest champions of liberty and freedom of the modern era.
And while Dick owned this newspaper and many others, what has come to be known as Trib Total Media Inc., this space, this relatively small amount of real estate reserved for editorials, was particularly his space. For it is where his views were imparted on important issues of the day, from around the world and around the nation to around the state and around the corner.
The light that his newspapers have shone for so many years has been bright and steady.
From Greater Pittsburgh to Greensburg and Ligonier, from McKeesport to Monessen and Connellsville, from Tarentum and Kittanning to Blairsville, and from a dozen points in between to dozens of others, Dick Scaife's newspapers, in news stories, commentaries (even liberal ones) and editorials, have well acquainted the community with the chronicle of its life.
While Dick was a newspaperman in every sense of the word, he was so much more — a great philanthropist, a dedicated conservationist, a persistent preservationist, a grand patron of the arts and an equally generous benefactor to all things education. That legacy lives on in so many Western Pennsylvania towns.
And we would be wholly remiss not to remind that Dick was blessed with a keen mind, had a wonderful sense of humor punctuated with a hearty laugh, was a quite knowledgeable railroad aficionado and was as comfortable sitting down with his staff over pizza as he was breaking bread with presidents.
Thanks to Dick Scaife's foresight, his newspapers long will outlive him. A mission that began 44 years ago, a dream that began when he was but a boy, will continue and will grow. And everyone at Trib Total Media is dedicated to, and humbled by, his confidence in them and the task with which they have been charged.
Wrote an anonymous scribe (but probably Benjamin Franklin) in The Pennsylvania Gazette 200 years before Dick bought his first newspaper, The Tribune-Review: “However little some may think of common newspapers, to a wise man they appear the ark of God for the safety of the people.”
Dick Scaife, a wise and benevolent man, resembled that observation. We are all richer for his wisdom and for his benevolence. And we shall miss him, terribly.