FORT MILL — William Bradford Jr., the former publisher of the Fort Mill Times and the son of the paper's founder, died early Friday morning.
He was 97.
A friend of the family said Mr. Bradford died at 2:45 a.m. while in hospice care in Care Rock Hill.
The Fort Mill native went into the newspaper business after college, but not at his hometown paper. He eventually purchased the Fort Mill Times from his father in 1943 and became the paper's second publisher.
The funeral will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, at Unity Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill. The family will receive friends in the church Fellowship Hall following the service.
A graduate of Fort Mill schools and Davidson College, Mr. Bradford was editor and publisher of the Fort Mill Times from 1943 until he sold the newspaper and retired in 1979. Under his leadership, the Times won several General Excellence Awards as the best weekly paper in South Carolina, and he personally won numerous writing awards. Many were for his popular No Foolin column, often picked up by other newspapers. Prior to his purchasing the Times from his father, he had been employed by the Forest City Courier and the Lancaster News.
He also served as York County Magistrate for Fort Mill Township and was a member of the Fort Mill School Board. From 1954-1968, Mr. Bradford was the voice of the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets football team, serving as the play-by-play announcer at all home games.
Mr. Bradford authored Out of The Past, a book on the history of Fort Mill, and he wrote and published many other papers and pamphlets on the subject.
He was predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Helen Parler Bradford and is survived by his son, William R. Bradford III and wife, Pamela North, of Charlotte, and his daughter, Camille Bradford Hugg and husband, Bobby, of Columbia.
Donations may be made to Unity Presbyterian Church, PO. Box 1267 Fort Mill, SC 29716 or Hospice and Community Care, PO Box 993, Rock Hill, SC 29731.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.fortmillfuneralhome.com