James G. Scripps, head of two newspaper organizations and member of the philanthropic Scripps family, died of an apparent heart attack at his home Saturday. He was 75.
He was the grandson of Edward W. Scripps, who founded United Press and Scripps-Howard Newspapers, as well as the San Diego Marine Biological Institution, which is now the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He is also the great-nephew of Helen Browning Scripps, a philanthropist who has lent her time, money and name to the Scripps Clinic.
James Scripps was chairman of the board, president and director of Pioneer Newspapers and James G. Scripps Newspapers, which operated more than 20 publications in 10 states.
Scripps was born Nov. 24, 1911, in San Diego and lived in the area most of his life. He also owned one of the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound in Washington, said his wife, Marjorie, who married Scripps in 1983.
She said he organized many firework displays in San Diego and Washington as a hobby and was a licensed pyrotechnician.
"He did them for the people up in the islands and must have done them here every year for the past 25 years or so," his widow said. "He loved it so. It was his idea of a hobby."
Scripps held an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Utah State University and retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve as a rear admiral.
Scripps also is survived by two daughters, Sally Weston of Rancho Santa Fe, and Susan Wood of Mount Vernon, Wash.; two sisters, Josephine Scripps of San Luis Rey, and Ellen Browning Davis of San Diego; a brother, Edward, of Charlottesville, Va.; five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial services are scheduled for Wednesday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Del Mar.