Mary Schurz, Former ‘Danville Advocate-Messenger’ Publisher Dies

By: E&P Staff

Mary Schurz, editor and publisher for 28 years at The Advocate-Messenger, Danville, Ky., died Aug. 9 after a long illness, her newspaper reported. She was 71.

When Schurz retired, in 2006, she was named chairman and editor emeritus. Her nephew, Scott C. Schurz Jr. succeeded her as editor and publisher.

When the company her father founded, South Bend, Ind.-based Schurz Communications, acquired the newspaper in late 1977, Mary Schurz was appointed assistant editor and assistant manager. She moved into the top positions when Editor and General Manager Enos Swain retired, in July 1978.

Among its many newspapers, Schurz Communications publishes three others in Kentucky, all acquired in recent years.

Besides her work at the Advocate-Messenger, and as a Schurz Communications vice president, secretary and director, Schurz served as a member of the board of directors of The Associated Press, chairman of The Associated Press Newspapers of Kentucky, board member and treasurer of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, and president of the Kentucky Press Association.

Schurz also served as a judge for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize.

Beneficiaries of her civic involvement included Centre College, Boyle County Public Library, the Great American Brass Band Festival, which she helped start in 1990, and Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill.

The South Bend native began her journalism career at the San Diego (Calif.) Union and later worked in every department of daily newspapers in Indio, Calif., Bedford, Ind., and Bloomington, Ind. She also was a general assignment reporter in the AP’s New York City office and was a staffer at The Saturday Review magazine. One of her last assignments with The AP was as assistant science editor and she served a stint as acting science editor.

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