Pruitt Named Distinguished Alumnus
Gary B. Pruitt, president and CEO of The McClatchy Company, has received a University of Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award. During the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' spring commencement ceremony in May, Pruitt was honored by UF President Bernie Machen and CLAS Dean Neil Sullivan for his distinguished service, dedication and success in his career as a media lawyer and head of McClatchy, one of the nation's largest and most successful newspaper chains.
Pruitt got his start in the newspaper business as a media lawyer, after earning a bachelor's degree with high honors in political science from UF in 1978, and a master's degree in public policy and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1981 and 1982. He practiced First Amendment, libel and public access law at Miami's Paul & Thomson legal firm for two years, working with such clients as The Miami Herald, The New York Times and CBS, before joining McClatchy in 1984. In 1996, at the age of 38, Pruitt was promoted to head of the company.
As chairman, president and CEO of McClatchy, headquartered in Sacramento, California, Pruitt oversees 29 newspapers across the US, including the Raleigh News and Observer, the Anchorage Daily News, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee and The Fresno Bee.
"I am delighted to call Gary a friend," says The New York Times publisher, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. "He's one of the few at his level of this business to whom I would turn to for advice and guidance. I believe there are many others in the newspaper business who feel as I do about him."
Pruitt is married to a 1980 UF journalism graduate, Abby, also an attorney, and they have two daughters.