SAN ANTONIO—Charles O. Kilpatrick, who was the top executive of the San Antonio Express-News for 19 years during the 1970s and '80s, has died after a lengthy illness at 91.

Kilpatrick died late Wednesday at his home on San Antonio's downtown River Walk, son Mark Kilpatrick told the Express-News (http://bit.ly/14d9V78). The son is the newspaper's former managing editor.

Charles Kilpatrick arrived in San Antonio in 1950 after working for East Texas dailies. He rose through the ranks after joining the staff as a copy editor of what was then the afternoon San Antonio News. He was named publisher in 1971, when the newspaper still published separately as The News and the morning San Antonio Express.

In 1973, the Express and News became the first U.S. newspapers to be bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

In an email to the newspaper, Murdoch called Kilpatrick "a great newspaper man" and "a wonderful friend and colleague."

Kilpatrick retired in 1990, three years before News Corp. sold the now-consolidated Express-News to Hearst Corp.

A memorial for Kilpatrick is scheduled for 2 p.m. July 8 at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio.


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