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Former Dow Jones Chairman William Kerby Dies

March 20, 1989

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) _ William F. Kerby, a former chairman of Dow Jones & Co. whose career in the newspaper business spanned nearly half a century, died of cancer Sunday at his home here. He was 81.

Kerby was a career newspaperman who held every major position on the news staff of The Wall Street Journal prior to becoming an executive officer at the Journal’s publisher, Dow Jones & Co., according to a statement from Dow Jones.

″Bill Kerby served Dow Jones with distinction for 47 years in jobs ranging from reporter to chairman and chief executive,″ said Warren H. Phillips, Dow Jones chairman, in the statement.

Kerby joined the Journal’s Washington D.C. staff in 1933. He was managing editor and then executive editor from 1942 to 1951, helping to develop the front-page news features and other innovations that shaped the modern Wall Street Journal and its growth into a national paper.

Kerby was elected executive vice president of Dow Jones in 1961, president in 1966, and chairman of the board in 1972. He retired in 1978 but continued to serve on the board of directors until Nov. 19, 1980.

As president of Dow Jones and its chairman from 1966 to 1978, he presided over the company’s diversification into community newspapers, overseas publishing, electronic information services and other ventures.

His wife, the former Frances Justina Douglass, died in 1986.

Surviving are two daughters, Jean Frances Warner and Judith Ann Beckmann, and six grandchildren.

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