ST. LOUIS (AP) — Frank C. Bick, a suburban newspaper pioneer in the St. Louis area, has died.

Bick was 85 and died Wednesday at his home in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue, according to the Kriegshauser Mortuary-West Chapel, which is handling his funeral arrangements. A cause of death was not given, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that he recently suffered a stroke.

Bick began his newspaper career in 1945 at the South Side Journal, a weekly founded by his father. He became publisher in 1960 after his father’s death, and over the next decade founded or purchased 10 additional publications, creating the St. Louis Suburban Newspapers.

The chain was purchased in 1984 by Ingersoll Publications, owned by Ralph Ingersoll II of New Jersey, and became part of the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. In 1989, Ingersoll started a short-lived daily newspaper in St. Louis, the Sun, causing him to go into debt, and he forfeited the suburban newspaper chain to Warburg Pincus, an investment company.

In 2000, Pulitzer Inc., which owned the Post-Dispatch at the time, purchased the Suburban Journals. By then, the chain had grown to one of the largest suburban newspaper chains in the United States. Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, purchased Pulitzer, and with it the Journals, in 2005.

In addition to the newspapers, Bick also founded a chain of nine rural radio stations and owned a sports marketing company. He sold the radio stations in 2006.

Bick was a Navy veteran and served in World War II.

Bick, twice widowed, was married to Patricia Dunavant. Other survivors include four stepsons, one stepdaughter, one sister, one brother and 13 step-grandchildren.

Visitation will be Friday at Kriegshauser Mortuary-West Chapel in Olivette. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ste. Genevieve du Bois Catholic Church in Warson Woods. Burial is at Resurrection Mausoleum in St. Louis.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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