Al Neuharth died Friday at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
He was 89.
Al's name may not be familiar to you, but this blogger hopes that you are acquainted with the newspaper he willed to life in 1982: USA Today.
From 1984 to 2009, I was either a reporter or editor — and sometimes both — at McPaper (a nickname that critics bestowed upon USA Today, but which those of us who were there in its best days adopted with the pride of underdogs).
An armored vehicle is driven near Mount Auburn and Melendy streets in Watertown.
Credit Essdras M Suarez / Boston Globe via Getty Images
A heavily armed Boston police officer stands guard in front of the Taj Hotel on Tuesday.
Credit Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images
A U.S. soldier patrols at Grand Central station in New York on Tuesday. Safety concerns led to stepped-up security at public places and events after the bombings in Boston.
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Metro SWAT members hang off the back of a truck as they prepare to search the School and Walnut Street neighborhood in Watertown on Friday.
Credit Darren McCollester / Getty Images
SWAT team members search for the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect at an apartment building. One of the two suspects died after a chase and shootout earlier Friday. The second was captured late Friday night.
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A National Guard helicopter takes off in Watertown, Mass., after landing in a shopping mall as part of search operations for one of the bombing suspects.
Credit Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images
A police officer stands at alert in tactical gear in Watertown on Friday.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP
Members of the Massachusetts National Guard wait on Boston Common for orders Monday evening after the deadly explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Credit Michael Dwyer / AP
A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Credit Jim Rogash / Getty Images
SWAT team members search for the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect at an apartment building. One of the two suspects died after a chase and shootout earlier Friday.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
"A powerful earthquake jolted China's Sichuan province Saturday near where a devastating quake struck five years ago," The Associated Press writes. According to CNN, early estimates put the death toll around 100. More than 1,000 other people were reportedly injured. Both figures could change substantially as more information comes in.
Soon after federal authorities disclosed that the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were Muslims of Chechen descent, many American Muslims began bracing for a backlash. NPR's Jennifer Ludden has more.
Al Neuharth, the man who launched "USA Today" against all expert advice, has died at the age of 89. He was the chairman of Gannett newspapers who called himself a dreamer and schemer when he got the idea that satellite communications could make a daily national newspaper popular.
People who knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just have a hard time squaring the man they knew, with the violence in Boston. Sierra Schwartz went to Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school with the suspect, who's now in custody.
SIERRA SCHWARTZ: The Dzhokhar that I knew at the time was friendly, quiet but not in a - alarming way. He was just - you know, soft-spoken but very - you know, funny, very sweet, wouldn't harm a fly; someone that you would want to talk to.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Isn't it nice to be able to say time for sports?
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SIMON: The country was focused on tragedy and mayhem this week, but sports abides, including some remarkable tributes to Boston. And the NBA playoffs begin today and run until, I don't know, I think December. Can anyone beat the Heat? For now we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.
Tracing the Tsarnaev family roots back to Russia is going to require cooperation between Washington, D.C., and Moscow and of course, as we just heard, this comes at a frosty time in relations between the two countries. NPR's diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen joins us. Thanks for being with us.
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Thanks, Scott.
SIMON: And first, any signs of cooperation so far?