June 2, 2010
Hank and Barbara Greenspun. (Greenspun family)

Hank and Barbara Greenspun. (Greenspun family)

Remembering Barbara Greenspun

Las Vegas Sun publisher Barbara Greenspun — a philanthropist, community leader and a founding partner of the Newseum — died June 1 at her home in Las Vegas. She was 88.

When her husband, Hank Greenspun, purchased the Las Vegas Free Press in 1950 and renamed it the Las Vegas Sun, Barbara Greenspun had doubts about the newspaper's financial security. Though she had no experience in the newspaper business, she went to the office every day, according to the Sun, and learned everything she could.

Hank Greenspun, who died in 1989, had a celebrated career as a leading public advocate and crusader for justice. Under his leadership, the Sun was one of the first newspapers to denounce the unfairness and lack of proof underlying Sen. Joe McCarthy's accusations of communist influence in the U.S. government.

Barbara Greenspun was the Sun's longtime treasurer and was named co-publisher, then publisher, when her husband died. The two are credited with laying the foundation that helped the Sun win the Pulitzer Prize's Gold Medal for Public Service in 2009.

In 2006, the Greenspun family donated $7 million to the Newseum, which named its terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue the Hank Greenspun Terrace on Pennsylvania Avenue.

"My family is honored that the story of Hank Greenspun and the courage and commitment that he displayed as a newspaper publisher and editor in Las Vegas for four decades will be part of the fabric of the Newseum for many generations," she said of the donation.

Shelby Coffey, a Newseum trustee and Freedom Forum senior fellow, called Greenspun "a gracious lady whose charm and intelligence helped create a family of great accomplishments and lasting significance to both city and country."

Greenspun is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Her son Brian is CEO of the Greenspun Corporation and the Sun's president and editor. Her son Daniel is president of the Greenspun Media Group and vice president of the Sun.

Related story: Publisher of Sun dies at 88

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