-30- Sam Kennedy: A Tennessee Newspaper Legend


I just spoke with John Finney and learned that Sam Kennedy has passed away.

Sam was editor or publisher of The Daily Herald (Columbia) from 1965 until 1983. He was elected as Maury County executive 1990.

When he sold the newspaper in 1983, Kennedy bought the Lawrence County AdvocateThe News Democrat in Waverly and the Buffalo River Review in Linden. I was fortunate to spend three days with Sam, driving around West Tennessee visiting his papers, when I first began working as a newspaper consultant in 1995.

Early in his career, Kennedy was a Maury County General Sessions judge and an assistant district attorney and district attorney for Maury, Marshall, Lawrence and Wayne counties.

Mr. Kennedy  was a strong voice in getting Tennessee’s open government, or “Sunshine Law,” enacted by the legislature in 1974.

Frank Gibson, who worked as a lobbyist for Tennessee Press Association until recently, called Kennedy one of open government’s “most ardent champions.”

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