- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Kenneth Bunting, a former newspaper executive and free press advocate, died while playing tennis. He was 65.

His death on Sunday from a heart attack was announced by the National Freedom of Information Coalition, for whom Bunting was executive director from 2010 until earlier this year. The free press group is based at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

“Even after he left, he continued to support NFOIC, helping to connect people looking for (Freedom of Information) help and reminding us of pending deadlines and First Amendment news stories of note,” the coalition said in a statement on its website. “He was a strong voice for FOI and government transparency and a great advocate for state coalition groups trying to fight off encroachments on their open government laws. The NFOIC will miss his voice.”

The Houston native and Texas Christian University graduate spent 17 years at the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, working as its managing editor, executive editor and the associate publisher.

He was also a senior editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and spent nine years with the Los Angeles Times. Bunting also worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Cincinnati Post, the Sacramento Bee and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

He is survived by his wife Juli and son Maxwell. A scholarship fund is being established in his name at Texas Christian, which in 2004 honored the 1970 graduate as the first inductee into its Schieffer School of Journalism Hall of Excellence.

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