Larry S. Craig, publisher of the Green River Republican in Morgantown who was known for his contributions to journalism in Kentucky, died Sunday at his home in Morgantown. He was 61.
Jan Jones, a friend and co-owner of Jones Funeral Chapel in Morgantown, said Mr. Craig died of natural causes.
Mr. Craig, a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, also was a former minister at Richland Baptist Missionary Church, a former journalism professor at Western Kentucky University and president of the Kentucky Press Association in the late 1980s.
A native of Todd County, Mr. Craig was remembered Sunday for his passion for journalism.
"He was widely respected by newspaper people across the state," said David Thompson, executive director of the Kentucky Press Association. "He always fought for what he thought was right. He was one of the most colorful characters in KPA's history."
Thompson recalled that Mr. Craig "often got the duty of praying at meals at KPA dinners since he was a rural Baptist minister."
"It wasn't the silence that was deafening when he prayed. It was the laughter in the room as Larry would take on public officials in his prayers, asking blessings on them without apology."
Thompson said the KPA's winter convention this week in Louisville will note Mr. Craig's death.
David Hawpe, who retired from The Courier-Journal of Louisville in August 2009 after a 40-year journalism career, said Mr. Craig was "a special person who actually was an intellectual, sophisticated guy hiding in a country preacher's persona."
"My hope is that they have a need to pray for food in heaven because Larry could do it better than anybody," he said.
Hawpe said one of Mr. Craig's favorite stories was about a small, rural church that caught fire, but its imprint remained on a wall next door.
"Larry would say you want to leave your imprint on this world," Hawpe said. "He did."
Survivors include Mr. Craig's wife, Patricia Grace Craig, and three daughters.
Visitations will be 5 to 8 p.m. CST Monday at Latham Funeral Home in Elkton, and noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. until services start at noon CST Wednesday at Jones Funeral Chapel.