C. C. Johnson Spink, the last publisher from the family that founded The Sporting News more than 100 years ago, has died. He was 75.
Spink died Thursday in St. Louis of an embolism.
Robert F. Erburu, chairman and chief executive officer of the Times Mirror Co., which bought the sports publication in 1977, said: "Johnson Spink inherited and then enhanced a great institution in The Sporting News. He was willing to risk changing the tradition of his grandfather to broaden the sports coverage in 'Baseball's Bible.'
"Johnson loved The Sporting News and was concerned that he put it in good hands," Erburu said. "Times Mirror felt very honored to be selected by him as his successor."
Spink, who had no children, had said his decision to sell the publication was made on his 60th birthday while he was shaving and wondering what might happen to The Sporting News and its employees if he were to be killed in traffic on his way to work.
Spink was the great-nephew of Alfred G. Spink, who created the weekly in 1886. He succeeded his great-uncle, his grandfather, Charles C. Spink, and his father, J. G. Taylor Spink, as editor and publisher.
He took over The Sporting News, expanding its coverage and brightening its appearance, in 1962, and remained a consultant to Times Mirror until 1987.
A native of St. Louis, Spink is survived by his wife, Edith, who is an attorney and the mayor of Ladue, Mo.
Memorial donations may be made to the Church of St. Michael and St. George Endowment Fund, 6345 Wydown Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63105, or to the Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Mo. 63166.