Former Hearst executive Gordon Jones dies at 85
Gordon L. Jones Jr., a former director and senior executive of Hearst Corporation, died Wednesday at his home in New Canaan after a long illness. He was 85.
Jones, who retired from Hearst Corporation in 1995 and served on its board of directors beginning in 1982, joined Hearst in 1979 and was instrumental in building the company's book and business publishing businesses.
Most recently, he was a vice president of Hearst Corporation and group head of Hearst Books/Business Publishing. During his tenure, Hearst acquired William Morrow & Company and added it to Avon and Hearst Books to significantly expand its book publishing activities.
After his retirement, Jones served as a consultant to Hearst Corporation.
"Gordon was a very important participant in the dramatic growth of Hearst Corporation during the 1980s and 1990s," said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., chief executive officer of Hearst Corporation. "He was instrumental in building what today are our business media operations. We will indeed miss Gordon."
Jones also played a role in the acquisition, from Cox Enterprises, of United Technical Publishing Co., a portfolio of trade publications, technical manuals and marketing data. Diversion magazine and its related activities were also acquired and added to the group in the mid-1980s.
Prior to Hearst, Jones was president of McGraw-Hill Publications Company. During his more than 26 years with McGraw-Hill, he served in numerous positions, including publisher of Electronics magazine; general manager, new products, for BusinessWeek; and senior vice president-marketing of McGraw-Hill Publications.
From 1948 to 1950, Jones played professional baseball for the Cleveland Indians. During his stint with the organization, he hit .257 playing outfield, third base and first base in the minor leagues for the Wilkes-Barre Indians, Spartanburg Peaches, Tacoma Tigers, Dayton Indians and Bakersfield Indians. Jones was elected to the New Canaan Board of Education is 2001, serving for two years before leaving the post.
A native of Los Angeles, he received his bachelor's from the University of Southern California.
He is survived by his wife, the former Marilyn Holter, and their five children and 14 grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. June 4, at the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan in New Canaan.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jones's name to The ALS Association or the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan.