WASHINGTON – The 87-year-old founder of Allbritton Communications – home to ABC7, NewsChannel 8 and POLITICO – died Wednesday.
Joe L. Allbritton would have turned 88 in less than three weeks.
His son, Robert, is the company’s current chairman and chief executive.
Allbritton was one of seven children and made his first fortune by buying land outside of Houston, Texas that later become part of a major freeway, according to WJLA. He eventually transitioned into the media business in the 1970s, and established a reputation as a philanthropist for the Kennedy Center and other national institutions.
He bought Riggs in 1981, but sold it in 2005 to Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. after a scandal involving foreign embassies, the Washington Business Journal reports. The bank was fined $16 million for allegedly helping former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Equatorial Guinea oil barons of hide hundreds of millions of dollars in secret accounts.