- Associated Press - Friday, June 15, 2018

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - John Troutt Jr., who rose from Jonesboro Sun carrier at age 10 to the newspaper’s owner and publisher, has died at age 88.

Troutt died late Thursday at St. Bernard’s Medical Center in Jonesboro, The Sun reported. Funeral arrangements are pending.

The son of the business manager of The Sun, which his family owned, Troutt began writing sports and obituaries at the paper while in the eighth grade. His father, John Troutt Sr., sent his son to business school to learn how to type. He went on to the University of Arkansas, where he was the first editor of student newspaper The Traveler to be appointed instead of elected.

After graduation in 1950, he returned to The Sun as principal reporter before he was drafted into the Army. He returned and advanced to city editor and managing editor before inheriting the paper from his uncle, owner-publisher Fred Troutt, in 1980.

Under his leadership, The Sun’s circulation grew to 31,000 on Sundays and 28,000 on weekdays. In 1982, he switched the afternoon newspaper to a morning cycle and published seven days a week for the first time since 1968, when a Saturday edition was dropped.



Troutt was an ardent advocate and defender of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act passed in 1967. The newspaper pressed more than a dozen cases under the law without a defeat. While he was editor and publisher, The Sun was nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize, finishing as a runner-up to The Miami Herald in 1998 for The Sun’s coverage of the Westside school shootings.

He remained as owner and publisher of The Sun until the family sold the paper to the Paxton Media Group of Kentucky in 2000.

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Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, http://www.jonesborosun.com

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