AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT

Former Lexington Herald-Leader publisher Kelly dead at 73

May 3, 2021 GMT

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Timothy M. Kelly, former publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader who oversaw Pulitzer Prize-winning work there and at other newspapers across the country, died Monday, the Kentucky newspaper reported. He was 73.

Kelly had been diagnosed with cancer, the newspaper said.

“The Herald-Leader, that was his pride and joy,” said Kelly’s son, Kevin. “He never lost his love for the paper and the people who worked there.”

Kelly oversaw Pulitzer Prize-winning work at the Herald-Leader as well as The Denver Post and the Orange County Register in southern California.

In 1991, Kelly became editor of the Lexington paper, which won its second Pulitzer the following year for a series of editorials that led to significant reforms in how Kentucky police and courts handled domestic-violence cases. The paper won another Pulitzer in 2000 for editorial cartooning, while Kelly was publisher.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kelly, an Ashland native, started newspaper work at 17 as a part-time sports writer at the Ashland Daily Independent. He also worked for papers in Huntington, West Virginia; Miami; Louisville; Philadelphia; Dallas; and Los Angeles.

He became managing editor of the Herald-Leader in August 1989.

Kelly served on the boards of Commerce Lexington and the Kentucky Blood Center and the national boards of the YMCA and AARP.

He retired in 2011 from the Lexington paper, where he won honors for his commitment to diversity and public service journalism.

In addition to his son, Kevin, survivors include Kelly’s wife, Carol; daughter, Kimberly; and three grandchildren.