Former Merced Sun-Star Publisher Valerie Bender Dies at 60

Valerie Bender was a talented and tough journalist who broke barriers and stared down challenges in a 40-year-career that took her from a reporter in Florida to publisher of the Merced Sun-Star.

In her career, Bender fought to be heard and recognized in male-dominated newspaper management circles. In 20 years at The Fresno Bee, she rose from features editor to assistant managing editor, director of community publications to vice president of custom publications.

Bender died Friday in Fresno at age 60 after a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

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