Jerry Ceppos: Who was he? How did he die?

What happened to Jerry Ceppos?

After a long battle with sickness, renowned editor and professor Jerry Ceppos passed away on Friday. He was 75.

Ceppos was the executive editor and senior vice president of The San Jose Mercury News and the former vice president of news at Knight Ridder. As a teacher of journalists, Ceppos also left his imprint. Before taking over the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University in 2011, he led the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. Karen Ceppos, his wife, reportedly stated that her husband died of sepsis after a bad infection.

About Jerry Ceppos 

Jerry Ceppos might even say he “grew up” in the role of editor. He edited papers at both his high school and his university, Maryland. After finishing college, he worked as a reporter and editor for a local newspaper in Rochester, New York. Three years later, he started working as an editor for what would eventually become Knight Ridder newspapers at the Miami Herald.

In his role as vice president for news at Knight Ridder, Ceppos handled the operations of the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States. These journals included the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press, the Kansas City Star, the Charlotte Observer, and another twenty-six dailies.

Ceppos held the unique distinction of becoming the first journalist to receive the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics in Journalism award for publicly acknowledging flaws made in the reporting of a Mercury News investigative series.

Jerry Ceppos: Who was he? How did he die?

During Ceppos’s tenure as managing editor, the daily was honored with two Pulitzer Prizes. For the late Larry Jinks, longtime publisher of The Mercury News, Jerry Ceppos exemplified the ideal journalist. “Jerry Ceppos was a fantastic journalist — bright, principled, tireless, committed to honesty and fairness,” Jinks remarked.

“Ceppos will be buried in Miami during a private family service,” the Mercury News said. There will be a memorial service for him open to the public at a later date. Donations can be sent to the Manship School or any other charity of your choosing.

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