Richard J. “Dick” Anthony, a former longtime publisher at The Daily Star, died May 2.

He was 81.

Anthony retired in 1998 after 14 years leading Oneonta's daily newspaper. He was associated with Ottaway newspapers, the former parent company of The Daily Star, for 37 years.

Anthony, of Guilderland, died at Albany Medical Center from various medical conditions, according to his daughter, Carolyn Adam, of Cooperstown.

Anthony presided over the growth of The Daily Star in the four-county area from an 18,000-circulation newspaper in 1984 to a peak of 21,000. Also, the newspaper's family expanded with specialty publications titled Neighbors, Infielder, Collegian and Cooperstown Crier during his tenure.

Daily Star Editor Sam Pollak, who was hired by Anthony in January 1998, said Tuesday that he regarded Anthony as a friend and mentor.

"Dick Anthony was one of the most honest, forthright and excellent publishers with whom I've had the privilege to work," Pollak said. "When Dick Anthony shook your hand, you knew his word was good. We had kept in touch on and off through the years, and I will miss him very much.

"The contributions Dick and his wonderful wife, Jeanette, have made to our local area are too numerous to mention, and Oneonta is a better place because Dick Anthony was the publisher of its daily newspaper."

Anthony's last day officially at The Daily Star was Aug. 31, 1998.

Duncan Davie, then town of Oneonta supervisor, proclaimed Aug. 31, 1998, as "Richard J. Anthony Day." In presenting the honor during an Oneonta Town Board meeting, Davie applauded Anthony's work on behalf of the community.

“He was really immersed in the Oneonta community,” Davie told The Daily Star on Tuesday, echoing praise for the former publisher. Through Anthony's presence, the newspaper was woven into the fabric of the community, according to Davie, chief of staff for state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford.

Anthony, a town of Oneonta resident, strove to improve the local quality of life through involvement with the YMCA, the Red Cross, the State University College at Oneonta Foundation and the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations.

Davie said through the newspaper Anthony took a courageous stand in calling for and supporting needed reform in the Oneonta City School District. “He went out on a limb — I really give Dick a lot of credit,” Davie said.

“I was saddened to hear about Dick's passing,” Davie said. “He was really part of Oneonta in a significant way.”

Today, The Daily Star's hard-copy circulation of more than 12,000 Monday through Saturday is enhanced by a website and social media presence, reflecting changes in the newspaper industry. The Star family of publications includes the Cooperstown Crier, The Daily Star Weekly, Upstate Life Magazine, The Scene entertainment guide and many specialty sections.

At The Daily Star on Tuesday, several employees remembered Anthony as a tough but caring publisher.

“He gave a lot, but you had to toe the mark,” said Sherri Allen, customer service representative.

Anthony appreciated children and had holiday parties and summer picnics for employees as he emphasized “The Daily Star family,” several employees agreed.

Tracy Bender, creative services manager in the advertising department, said she started at the newspaper in 1991 and worked nights in the composing department.

“He used to stop by on his way out at night and ask how we were doing,” she said Tuesday. “He cared about his employees.”

Carolyn Adam said she worked various jobs during more than 10 years at The Daily Star. Her father was tough, she said, but he was focused on instilling a strong work ethic.

“He looked for perfection, which I value,” she said. Adam said Tuesday that articulating feelings about her father was difficult.

“There were so many facets of him,” she said. “There were so many sides of him that were incredibly amazing.”

Survivors include his wife, Jeanette, five children, nine grandchildren and a great-granddaughter, among other relatives, according to an obituary.

At the request of the Anthony family, there will be a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Madeleine Sophie Catholic School, 3510 Carmen Road, Schenectady, NY 12303 or to Hannah's Hope for GAN, 19 Blue Jay Way, Rexford, NY 12148.

Denise Richardson, staff writer, may be reached at (607) 441-7213 or at drichardson@thedailystar.com. Follow her on Twitter at @DS_DeniseR.

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