Stanton R. Cook, chief executive, died at 90

  Dead Famous

Stanton Rufus Cook, born on July 3, 1925 and died September 3, 2015, he was a chief executive of the Chicago Tribune. He took the newspaper public in 1983.

Stanton started at the company in 1951 as an engineer in the production department of its flagship newspaper, The Chicago Tribune.

He became its publisher in 1973 and chief executive of the company in 1974, cutting a tall, dignified figure in the executive suite.

The media reporter Ken Auletta, writing in The New Yorker in 1998, described him as “regal” and looking like “a C.E.O. from central casting.”

The company’s presence on the national stage grew during Mr. Cook’s tenure.

He led the $20.5 million acquisition of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field in 1981. (The Tribune Company sold the Cubs in 2009 to the Ricketts family in a deal valued at $845 million.)

In 1983, Stanton helped take the company public on the New York Stock Exchange after 136 years of private ownership.

He went on to establish the Tribune Company as the country’s largest operator of independent television stations with the 1985 purchase of the Los Angeles station KTLA for $510 million and the creation of a separate broadcasting division.

Stanton also guided the company through a 40-month printers’ strike in the 1980s, as union production workers protested new technology and changes to workplace rules.

A month after Mr. Cook was named the company’s chief executive, The Tribune drew national attention when it published an editorial during the Watergate scandal arguing that Richard M. Nixon was not fit to be president and should resign.

Stanton R. Cook died at age 90 on September 3, 2015.