Former Publisher and CNPA Executive Director John 'Jack' Bates Passes Away


John “Jack” Bates of Scottsdale, Ariz. passed away on Thursday, May 24. Jack was born on Oct. 9, 1934 in Meadville, Pa. He attended Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pa. and earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from Duke University in Durham, N.C. He also attended Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Printing Management.

Jack began his newspaper career as the assistant to the publisher of the family-owned Meadville (Pa.) Tribune. The newspaper sold to Thomson papers in 1972 and Jack became its publisher. He was later publisher and/or president of the Marion (Ohio) Star, the Morgantown (W.V.) Dominion Post, the Hagerstown (Md.) Herald Mail and the Champaign (Ill.) News Gazette.  He moved to Sacramento where he was president and general manager for the Sacramento Union from 1985 to 1989. Jack worked with newspaper broker Mel Hodell before becoming the executive director of the California Newspaper Publishers Association. It was a job he loved and held for 20 years, working well past retirement age. Upon retirement, Jack was honored by the Association when the California Press Foundation established the Jack Bates Award for distinguished service.

Jack is survived by his wife, Louise M. Bates, three daughters and eight grandchildren.

Jack will be remembered as a true gentleman and someone who made people comfortable through the use of his humor and wit. Jack will be memorialized at a service at Westminster Village in Scottsdale, Ariz. on June 24, 2018 (where he and Lou have lived for the last four years). He served in the U.S. Army and will be committed in the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center, 240 West Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013, or to the Westminster Village Foundation, 12000 N. 90th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85260.