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. He served as MediaNews' chairman from 1985 until
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 Edward Wallace Scudder and Katherine Hollifield
Scudder, on May 13, 1913, in Newark, New Jersey.
In 1935, Scudder earned a bachelor's degree in Economics with honors
from Princeton University. He 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 Elizabeth Shibley. Scudder
returned to New Jersey from
Europe in 1946 and became reporter at
the Boston Herald, followed by a journalist position for the Newark
Evening News, which his grandfather had founded in 1883.  He later
became the paper's publisher from 1952 until its closure in 1972.
By then, the Scudder family had already sold the paper to Media
General, in 1970.
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 held
company, owns such major papers as The Denver Post, The Detroit News,
The Oakland Tribune, The San Jose Mercury News and The El Paso Times.
Overall, 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' combined, nationwide circulation stands at 2.3 million,
which are published by 57 daily newspapers nationwide. MediaNews
also owns 122 nondaily newspapers in nine states. Scudder served as
MediaNews' chairman from 1985 until 2009; since 2010 Singleton is the
company's executive board chairman.
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 died
at 84 in 2003. Scudder was survived by one son, three daughters,
eight grandchildren, several grand-nieces and nephews, and a few
cousins and close extended family members.
Scudder 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
In September 1883, Scudder's grandfather, Wallace M. Scudder, founded
the former Newark Evening News. Scudder's father, Edward Wallace
Scudder, operated the newspaper.
Eight generations of Scudders have graduated from Princeton, starting
with a member of the school's first class. According to its alumni
department, the Scudders are Princeton's largest alumni family. A
small sample includes U.S. Rep. John A. Scudder (1775), Rev. John
Scudder M.D. (1811), Edward Wallace Scudder I (1841) Hon. George Drake
Edward W. 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).
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Hevesi, Dennis (2012-07-15).
"Richard B. Scudder, Co-Founder of MediaNews Group, Dies at 99". New
York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
^ a b c d e f g Rudnquist, Jeanette (2012-07-12). "Late Newark Evening
News publisher Richard B. Scudder remembered as 'newsman's newsman'".
The Star-Ledger. Retrieved