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Longtime MDJ Publisher Brumby Dies

Otis A. Brumby Jr. passed away Saturday after a two-year-battle with prostate cancer.

Otis A. Brumby Jr., who served as publisher of The Marietta Daily Journal since 1967 and also was a member of the state boards of education and transportation during a lengthy career in business, journalism and public service, died Saturday at the age of 72. 

He had been diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer two years ago, according to an obituary published Saturday evening in his newspaper. 

The MDJ obituary said a private burial will be held next Wednesday at Dawson Cemetery, followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service at , where Brumby was a longtime member. 

Brumby became publisher of the newspaper just as Cobb experienced its first development boom. His publications chronicled the growth of the area into a suburban powerhouse, with a journalistic foundation based on an advocacy of fiscal conservatism, open government and public education.

“At his core, Otis was a journalist whose first commitment was to open government and protection of the First Amendment, and he did that,” said Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines, a longtime Cobb resident and Brumby friend, in an obituary published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

But as Creative Loafing illustrated in a 2001 profile, Brumby's headstrong nature also engendered plenty of animosity from journalists who formerly worked for him and from a number of prominent elected officials, including former Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne. 

Newspapers have been in the Brumby family for nearly a century. His father, Otis A. Brumby, Jr., founded the Cobb County Times in 1916 and purchased the MDJ in 1951, according to the MDJ obituary. 

After earning a law degree from the University of Georgia, Brumby returned home to Marietta in 1965 to serve as assistant publisher of the MDJ.

In 1969, Brumby added to his media business by creating the Neighbor Newspapers, more than 20 weekly publications located throughout suburban Atlanta. 

Brumby's son, Otis A. Brumby III, is the current general manager of the MDJ. 

Public officials from Cobb praised Brumby's work in the MDJ remembrance, including his doggedness in holding them accountable. Said former State. Sen. Chuck Clay, a Marietta Republican: 

"The people of Georgia have been well served by his efforts. I just hope they know what a legal quorum is in heaven or there is going to be trouble, and I bet on Otis.”

John A Delves September 09, 2012 at 01:20 PM
As a member of the Cobb Community with long strong ties to the MDJ and Mr. Brumby I am one of the meny who will miss his efforts. My father ended his career as the business editor and my daughter started hers as a feature writer so the connection is strong. Although I didn't always agree with him and his ideas; I did always respect him and that says all that is needed in paying tribute to a Newspaper giant. We will be keeping him and the family in our prayers both publicly and private.
Joe Bozeman September 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
HamBurger, I think it is very tacky and disrespectful of you to bring up the Leo Frank case at the time of Mr. Brumby's death. This took place way before Otis Brumby was even born. There are several families who have relatives who participated in the lynching. I see no reason to bring it up now.
Alice Milam September 11, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I agree with Mr. Bozeman! Many of us have relatives we are not proud of. But their actions should not reflect on who we are. To bring up such a thing when Mr. Brumby's family is mourning his loss is unconscionable! Obviously, if you are a product of your past relatives, Hamburger, they were indeed a thoughtless, tasteless brood!!!
Joe Bozeman September 11, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Thank you Alice, these people who post under these silly nicknames are nothing but cowards. I knew Mr. Brumby personally, he was a man of honor and will be missed.
Bill September 11, 2012 at 06:53 PM
A few times when I was small(er) I asked my grandma who our ancestors were, she usually fobbed me off by saying that I would be better off not knowing as most of them had been hung as horse theives. Once she got as far as mentioning that we had five relatives who served with the South in the War Between the States but only one had returned. I suspect this part is true although she never provided details to nail it down. As to the first statement, well I am not sure, but I have always had an aversion to wearing neck ties and wonder if there is some truth to it.

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