George E. Randall, 53, newspaper publisher
GIBSON ISLAND, Md. (AP) — George Elliott Randall, editor and publisher of the Frederick News-Post, died May 12 at his home on Gibson Island after a 19-month battle with brain cancer. He was 53.
Mr. Randall interned in the 1960s and 1970s at the Frederick News-Post, the newspaper that his great-grandfather William T. Delaplaine had founded in 1883. He returned in 1982 to work as the assistant managing editor and legal counsel, and became editor and publisher in 2001.
Randall Family LLC is one of the nation’s few remaining family-owned newspaper publishing companies.
Mr. Randall’s death comes less than four months after that of the paper’s managing editor, Mike Powell. The two fought Frederick city government for the release of a prostitution business’s “black book” seized in a 1999 police raid.
The Frederick News-Post, the Associated Press and a member of the public sought access to the documents under the Maryland Public Information Act in November 2000 amid charges that customers included public officials.
Frank Abrams, the attorney who represented the newspaper in that battle, called Mr. Randall an “absolute champion” of First Amendment rights.
“He had a heart of gold, and in a very quiet way he promoted First Amendment values at every turn,” Mr. Abrams said.
Mr. Randall was active in the community, and owned and operated cattle farms in Frederick County.
Mr. Randall graduated from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va., and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a master’s degree in journalism. He later earned a law degree from the University of Puget Sound Law School in Tacoma, Wash.