Hamburg, 14 August 2006 –
Gruner + Jahr mourns the passing of John Jahr, co-founder and longstanding Executive Board member of the Hamburg-based printing and publishing company, Gruner + Jahr. Mr. Jahr died unexpectedly of heart failure last night in Hamburg. He was 72.
John Jahr was the G+J Executive Board´s longest-standing member for longer than anyone else, having sat on the panel for 28 years. He and his siblings Alexander, Michael, and Angelika jointly owned 25.1 percent of G+J via the Jahr-Holding. He was the eldest son of John Jahr Sr., a co-founder of Gruner + Jahr, who died in 1991.
Gruner + Jahr CEO Bernd Kundrun said: "The news of John Jahr´s passing fills us with sadness and grief. John Jahr was one of the great publishing personalities of our time. Like few others, he embodied our company´s identity and attitude. In his three decades on the Executive Board, John Jahr was a key contributor to and facilitator of Gruner + Jahr´s successful development. He defended the company´s autonomy and championed independent and quality-oriented journalism with great dedication and unflagging constancy.
With his unfailingly sincere and laid-back ways, John Jahr was a steady source of support and expert consulting for the Executive Board, as well as for me personally. For all of us, he was far more than just a fellow Executive Board member; he was a friend. His death leaves a gaping void that will be very difficult to fill. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the Jahr family."
John Jahr was born on December 27, 1933 in Hamburg. After the war, he completed an apprenticeship as typesetter and printer from 1948 to 1951, followed by comprehensive training in the publishing business in Germany and beyond.
When the Gruner + Jahr printing company was established by publisher John Jahr Sr., Dr. Gerd Bucerius and printer Richard Gruner on June 30, 1965, he became one of the managing directors of the new company, who successfully managed the merger of the three companies into a large-scale publisher. He sat on the G+J Executive Board for 28 consecutive years from 1971 to 2000, and was also associated with the Association of German Magazine Publishers (VDZ) for several decades including many years on its Board of Directors, Popular Magazines.