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Editor, ex-publisher of the Republican-American dies at 87

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WATERBURY — The longtime editor and former publisher of the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury has died.

The newspaper’s managing editor Anne Karolyi said William J. Pape II died Saturday. He was 87.

The Republican-American reports that Pape began working at the newspaper in 1959 after he graduated from Harvard Business School. He eventually became publisher, like his father and grandfather. His grandfather bought The Republican in 1901.

Pape was a champion for press freedom, a devout Catholic and Navy veteran. He was also an avid Republican, but stressed that the editorial pages and news staff operate independently.

Chris Powell, a director of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, called Pape “principles and fearless.” Powell said Pape was “unafraid to protest the long misdirection of Connecticut’s public policy no matter how many people would consider him politically incorrect.”

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