Former New York Times Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Sr. Dies

Mr. Sulzberger received a Katharine Graham Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Mr. Sulzberger’s insistence on independence was shown in his decision in 1971 to publish a secret government history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers. It was a defining moment for him and, in the view of many journalists and historians, his finest.

The publication of the Pentagon Papers led to a major Supreme Court ruling in favor of press freedom and in 1972 netted the Times a Pulitzer Prize.

Though Mr. Sulzberger passed publishing duties at the Times to his son Arthur Jr. in 1992, he stayed on as chairman for five more years, officially retiring in 1997. The Times reports he died after a lengthy illness.

Mr. Sulzberger was 86.