By: E&P Staff
Darrow Tully, who resigned as Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette publisher in 1985 when it was learned he had faked a military career, has died of complications from a stroke in Tampa, according to the Republic, which gave no date of death. He was 78.
“Duke” Tully spent more than 40 years managing broadcast, newspaper an direct-mail businesses.
Tom Collins, then Maricopa County attorney, planned to hold a news conference to expose Tully’s false claim of having flown Air Force combat missions in Korea and Vietnam.
Though he had never served in the Air Force, Tully was a pilot, and he and former Navy flyer Sen. John McCain flew planes over the desert. Tully was credited with launching McCain’s political career.
Republic staffer Kerry Fehr-Snyder quotes former colleague Bill Shover saying that the Air Force had rejected Tully, who, after his brother’s death in World War II, sought his father’s approval.
Shover was public affairs director at Phoenix Newspapers, which owned the Republic before its sale to Gannett 10 years ago. Tully joined the company in 1978 as vice president, general manager and publisher of the Republic and now-defunct Phoenix Gazette.
“At that time, the publisher of The Arizona Republic was the strongest person in Arizona,” Shover told the paper, crediting Tully with bringing the latest technology to the Republic and calling him “smart” and possessing a “magnetic quality.”
In 1986, Tully joined Wick Communications and was involved in newspaper operations throughout the west.