SAO PAULO (AP) — Otavio Frias Filho, who as editor-in-chief helped turn a mid-sized, conservative paper into Brazil's most read daily, has died. He was 61.

Daily Folha de S. Paulo said Frias Filho died at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday in a Sao Paulo hospital. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.

Frias Filho began at the paper as a teenager and led it as editor for 34 years. In that span, he focused on bolstering investigations, giving voice to a wide variety of views in the op-ed section and demanding accountability of reporters. Folha says it was the first paper in Latin America to have an ombudsman and correction section.

Folha has an average daily circulation of 360,000 copies, and its influence goes beyond that thanks to popular website UOL it owns.