Retired Tampa Publisher Dies `Red' Pittman Led Tribune for Years

The Florida Times Union, May 2, 1999 | Go to article overview

Retired Tampa Publisher Dies `Red' Pittman Led Tribune for Years


TAMPA -- Richard Frank "Red" Pittman Jr., whose 44-year career at The Tampa Tribune began as a $50-a-week assistant controller and ended as publisher, has died. He was 76.

Pittman was starting his car Saturday when he told his wife, Dada, he felt as if he were going to faint. He slumped over the steering wheel unconscious.

He was pronounced dead at a local hospital soon after, and the exact cause of death was unknown.

"Red Pittman was the spirit of The Tampa Tribune, but even more, the spirit of Tampa itself," said J. Stewart Bryan, Media General chairman, president and CEO. "He was faster than life, always moving at warp speed -- interested in everyone and everything and talking to them as well."

A self-described "poor, dumb Cracker boy," Pittman grew up in Tampa and worked as a delivery boy at his father's Seminole Heights grocery board.

He was born March 12, 1923, in Tampa and graduated from the University of Florida in 1944 with an accounting degree.

Pittman predicted his legacy would be that of a "bean counter," and applied the value of frugality to his career as a newspaper man. …

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