William Ellery McClatchy, who for years sat on the board of his family's newspaper business and was a Hall of Fame croquet player, died on Tuesday. He was 86.
McClatchy's niece, Adair McClatchy, told The Associated Press that her uncle, who went by Ellery, died of natural causes at his home in Pope Valley in Northern California.
The McClatchy family started its newspaper business, which includes the Sacramento Bee and the Miami Herald, in 1857 after Ellery McClatchy's great-grandfather moved to California during the Gold Rush.
Ellery McClatchy, the middle of three brothers who inherited and helped expand the company, served as a board member and officer for 24 years.
"He had a tremendous interest in the company and the family, and he always tried to be a balance between the two," McClatchy's nephew, Kevin McClatchy, told the Sacramento Bee. "He cared a great deal about the company and the role it has played in California and in journalism."