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Tribune Publisher Brumby Dies

Otis A. Brumby Jr. passed away Saturday after a two-year-battle with prostate cancer.

Otis A. Brumby Jr., who served as publisher of the  and the Marietta Daily Journal, and also was a member of the Georgia Board of Transportation during a lengthy career in business, journalism and public service, died Saturday at the age of 72. 

He had been diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer two years ago, according to an obituary published Saturday evening in his newspaper. 

The Tribune obituary said a private burial will be held Wednesday at Dawson Cemetery, followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service at , where Brumby was a longtime member. 

Brumby became publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal newspaper just as Cobb experienced its first development boom. His publications chronicled the growth of the area into a suburban powerhouse, with a journalistic foundation based on an advocacy of fiscal conservatism, open government and public education.

“At his core, Otis was a journalist whose first commitment was to open government and protection of the First Amendment, and he did that,” said Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines, a longtime Cobb resident and Brumby friend, in an obituary published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

But as Creative Loafing illustrated in a 2001 profile, Brumby's headstrong nature also engendered plenty of animosity from journalists who formerly worked for him and from a number of prominent elected officials, including former Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne. 

Newspapers have been in the Brumby family for nearly a century. His father, Otis A. Brumby, Jr., founded the Cobb County Times in 1916 and purchased the MDJ in 1951, according to the MDJ obituary. 

After earning a law degree from the University of Georgia, Brumby returned home to Marietta in 1965 to serve as assistant publisher of the MDJ.

In 1969, Brumby added to his media business by creating the Neighbor Newspapers, more than 20 weekly publications located throughout suburban Atlanta. 

Brumby's son, Otis A. Brumby III, is the current general manager of the MDJ. 

Public officials from Cobb praised Brumby's work in the MDJ remembrance, including his doggedness in holding them accountable. Said former State. Sen. Chuck Clay, a Marietta Republican: 

"The people of Georgia have been well served by his efforts. I just hope they know what a legal quorum is in heaven or there is going to be trouble, and I bet on Otis.”

m walker September 10, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Sorry for this gentleman's passing and the loss to his family- but why is it that the media- press, tv, radio, etc feel that the passing of one of their own is more important than that of a soldier, police officer, school teacher, or a housewife? 50 soldiers can die and its a story- one reporter dies and its a tragedy. A child is murdered and its on the news for a day- a news anchor has a heart attack and its on the news for a week. A local citizen is just that- a member of our community- not someone to be prioritized. For some reason anyone in the "media" seems to think to think they are above and beyond the "little people" they manipulate. Do you really think you are better and smarter than we are? Maybe its time for all the "little people" to fire you all. You have lost track of your real purpose- to REPORT the facts- NOT manipulate, twist, or spin them. Wake up- look in the mirror- and ask yourself if you are proud of what you see. YOU ARE NOT ABOVE THE PEOPLE- you are supposed to serve and respect them.
leah busque September 12, 2012 at 06:52 PM
M walker, not sure why the long face...but without Otis Brumby, you would not have had the opportunity of reading about the unfortunate circumstances of dead housewives, mistreated children, soldiers, teachers, police officers, etc. (amongst the news good and bad of many counties the paper covered) He brought the news to you for several years and put a lot of thought into the paper. He definitely did not twist the news, he was about honesty and integrity. You need a good look in the mirror to realize a man lost his life due to an awful disease and he, a public figure, got some recognition, because he owned local newspapers for over 40 years. I'll bet you read those papers, too. I'm sure they included many highlights of your local community, and I'm sure he and others, do not think they are better thann you are, just brighter.

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