Joseph L. Allbritton, former owner of the Washington Star and founder of Politico, died yesterday at the age of 87. Politico broke the story yesterday afternoon with remarks from the Allbritton family.
“Joe was, first and foremost, a beloved and loyal husband, father, grandfather and friend,” his family said in a statement Wednesday. “His life was defined by a love, wit, charm and attentiveness that will be forever cherished by all of us. Joe’s life was also one of great achievement, as a businessman, innovator and philanthropist. He was fiercely passionate and unfailingly generous.”
Broadcasting & Cable ran a statement from the National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith, “Joe Allbritton was a larger than life figure in business, in media and in philanthropy. His contributions to local television are reflected every day in the programming excellence on display at WJLA-TV in Washington and seven other Allbritton-owned ABC affiliates across America. NAB salutes a visionary media entrepreneur for a life well lived.”
The Washington Post brings up more colorful parts of Allbritton’s past including his jet-setting ways and acquiring Riggs National Bank in the 80s. Rather than the media mogul who emerged into the 90s, WaPo goes full attack dog when it comes to remembering how Riggs became associated with African dictators and Augusto Pinochet (shades of HSBC no?)
He turned over his company, Allbritton Communications, to his son Robert in 1990. He’s currently survived by him, his wife Barbara and two grandchildren.