By Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2020

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Henry “Hank” Waters III, the longtime editor and publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune, has died at the age of 90, the newspaper announced.

Waters, who wrote more than 18,000 editorials for the newspaper, died Thursday in Columbia.

Waters started his career at the paper in 1948 as a delivery carrier and rose through the organization until being named editor and publisher in 1966. He became publisher emeritus in 2010 but continued to write daily, signed editorials until the paper was sold to Gatehouse Media Inc. in 2016, when Waters began writing twice-weekly columns.

Every election year, political candidates would seek Waters’ highly coveted endorsement.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who served with Waters on the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement Thursday that Waters had a great understanding of Missouri and a “disproportional impact running a family newspaper that other editors paid attention to.”

Waters was a member of the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and received a Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1980. He also served with numerous organizations and philanthropies.

Funeral plans for Waters are pending.

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