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Gary Pruitt

Gary Pruitt

President, Chief Executive Officer, Associated Press (AP)
Gary Pruitt is the 13th person to lead The Associated Press since its founding in 1846.

Pruitt became president and chief executive officer of the AP in July 2012. He had also served three terms on the AP board of directors, including as vice chairman.

Under his leadership, AP has continued its long legacy of fighting for freedom of the press and the public right to know. Pruitt received the Constitution Project’s 2014 Champion Award for his work defending the First Amendment and also received the First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation.

Prior to AP, Pruitt was chairman, president and CEO of The McClatchy Company, the third largest newspaper company in the United States. During his tenure, McClatchy’s operations included 30 daily newspapers, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee. A First Amendment lawyer by training, Pruitt steered McClatchy toward financial diversification and oversaw robust growth of digital revenue.

Pruitt earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida where he was named the Outstanding Four-Year Scholar. He concurrently attended graduate school and law school at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a master’s degree in public policy and a law degree.

Pruitt began his professional career at the Miami law firm of Paul & Thomson, concentrating on First Amendment, libel and public access issues for such media companies as The New York Times and CBS.

In 1984, Pruitt joined McClatchy in Sacramento, Calif., where he served as general counsel until 1991. He managed the company’s legal affairs, including libel and First Amendment issues.

From 1991 to 1994, he was publisher of The Fresno Bee. From 1994 to 1995, he was vice president of operations and technology for McClatchy and from 1995 to 1996 was president and chief operating officer. He was named CEO in 1996 and became chairman in 2001.

In 2004, Pruitt was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Florida. In 2008, he was named Outstanding Alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy.

He serves on the board of directors of the Mutual Insurance Company, the advisory board of the International Center for Journalists and the board of the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. He is the former chairman of the Irvine Foundation.

Pruitt was born in Alexandria, Va., but spent most of his youth in Satellite Beach, Florida, a small town near Cape Canaveral. He now resides in New York City. He and his wife, Abby, have two daughters, Katherine and Allison.