SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Former Times Mirror Co. Chairman Robert F. Erburu, who led the media company through an expansion that included the purchase of paper mills, cable television outlets and a book publisher, has died. He was 83.
Erburu died Sunday at his home in Santa Barbara, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/1gjlcfO ). Lois Erburu, his wife of 59 years, told the newspaper her husband had Alzheimer's disease.
A native Californian, Erburu joined Times Mirror, the parent company of the Times, in 1961 as a legal adviser to then-Chairman Norman Chandler. He rose steadily over the decades, becoming president in 1974, chief executive in 1980 and chairman in 1986, succeeding Norman's son, Otis.
Erburu oversaw the company at its height in prestige and earnings, when it owned nine newspapers across the country. The Times, which had a circulation of more than a million, accounted for 30 percent of Times Mirror's revenue and expanded its coverage domestically and abroad.
Erburu was active on the boards of many of Southern California's most prominent nonprofit organizations, including the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, where the 8,000-square-foot Lois and Robert F. Erburu Gallery opened in 2005.
In addition to his wife, Erburu is survived by two children and four grandchildren.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com