Herbert G. Klein (1918-2009) was the retired Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Copley Newspapers, and a national fellow of the American Enterprise Institute of Washington, D.C., a syndicated columnist and a public relations consultant. He enjoyed a unique career as a newspaperman, broadcast official, media consultant, a senior leader in the White House, and participated in five presidential campaigns. Published by Doubleday, his book Making It Perfectly Clear is acclaimed by critics for its hard-hitting definitive look at the love-hate relationship between the media and the presidents.
Mr. Klein was nationally known as a newspaper editor and for his role as the senior spokesman for the Executive Branch of the United States government. He served in the White House as the nation’s first Director of Communications for nearly five years and was its official surrogate spokesman on television. He worked with former President Richard M. Nixon until July 1973, when he resigned to become Vice President for Corporate Relations for Metromedia, Inc., a national non-network broadcasting group.
Mr. Klein left the broadcast industry in 1977 to serve as a media consultant for several multi-billion dollar international corporations. He returned to newspapers, his original career love, in 1980 when he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the daily, weekly, and biweekly newspapers which formed the Copley Press. In Mr. Klein’s corporate newspaper role, he oversaw the news and editorial content of Copley Newspapers in Illinois, Ohio, and California.
Mr. Klein served on the Pulitzer Prize jury, was a Director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (1966-68), and was an active leader in the National Editorial Writers Association, The Associated Press Managing Editors’ Organization, and United Press International Editors. He served as an officer of Sigma Delta Chi, the national journalism society, and was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, and the San Diego Press Club.
Mr. Klein was a life member of the University of Southern California’s board of trustees and a past President of the General Alumni. He held honorary doctorates from the University of Southern California and the University of San Diego.
In California, Mr. Klein participated in numerous civic activities, ranging from Junior Chamber presidency in Alhambra to directorship in San Diego’s major community organizations. He served on the boards of directors of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Scripps Health Foundation, and the Foundation for the Children of the Californias.
Mr. Klein championed bringing major league sports to San Diego as a co-founder of San Diego’s Super Bowl Task Force and served on the boards of several athletic organizations, including the San Diego International Sports Council, San Diego National Sports Training Foundation, and the UC San Diego Athletic Board. In addition to board membership, he was past President and chairman of the Holiday Bowl year-end football game in San Diego. Mr. Klein was an honorary member of the Alhambra and San Diego Rotary clubs, a Kiwanis “fellow” and a Kiwanian in San Diego, and a member of San Diego’s University Club.
Mr. Klein passed away on July 2, 2009. His wife of 66 years, the former Marjorie Galbraith, and his eldest daughter are also deceased. Of utmost importance were his family relationships with his younger daughter, three grandsons, and two great grandsons.