William Ziff, Jr., who took over his father’s publishing company in the 1950s and led it through period of growth that followed the varying tastes of the American middle class from cars to the personal computer, died at his Pawling, N.Y., home on Sept. 9. He was 76.
Ziff died “peacefully with his family at his home” from the complications of cancer, a family spokesman said.
As head of Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. for nearly 40 years, Ziff transformed a company that was originally focused on aviation, travel and adventure magazines into a national powerhouse focused on business, consumer and later computer technology titles.
The original Ziff-Davis, Inc. started in Chicago in 1927 and was founded by William Ziff’s father, William B. Ziff, Sr., and Bernard G. Davis.
William Ziff, Jr. took over the company in 1953 at age 23 after his father’s death. Two years later he bought the interest of the Davis family.
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