USA Today founder Al Neuharth changed American newspapers by putting easy-to-read articles and bright graphics in his national daily publication, which he began in 1982 when he ran the Gannett Co. newspaper group.

Newseum officials (L-R) Chairman Alberto Ibarguen, founder Al Neuharth, CEO Charles Overby and President Peter Prichard are joined by District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and Del. Elenor Holmes Norton (D-DC) for the grand opening of the news museum April 11, 2008 in Washington, DC. ( Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Neuharth died Friday in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was 89.

The news was announced by USA Today and by the Newseum, which he also founded.

He wanted to create a bright, breezy, fun newspaper that would catch people's attention and not take itself too seriously.

During Neuharth's more than 15 years at the helm of Gannett, the company became the nation's largest newspaper company. Its annual revenues increased from $200 million to more than $3 billion. He became president and CEO of the company in 1973 and chairman in 1979. He retired in 1989.

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