Virginian Review publisher Horton Beirne dies at 67

By Travis Williams

The Roanoke Times

Like his grandfather and father before him, Horton Beirne’s final days were spent publishing newspapers in Alleghany County.

The third-generation publisher of the Virginian Review died Saturday night at the age of 67 due to complications from pulmonary disease.“Most people have said, ‘We’re going to miss him because he did so much for this community,’ ” said Beirne’s wife, Mary Anne Beirne.

Beirne won several Virginia Press Association awards for his column, feature and editorial writing, the latter of which Mary Anne Beirne said her husband never took lightly.

“He had to really feel very strongly about something before he would slam out an editorial … but when he did, he knew he had spoken,” she said.

Beirne’s grandfather, Richard Beirne II, began the family’s involvement with the news in Covington when he purchased the weekly published Covington Dispatch at the start of 1914. By August, Richard Beirne II decided the area needed more World War I coverage and started a six-day-a-week publication, the Covington Virginian. He continued publishing the Covington Dispatch until the end of World War II.

Beirne’s father, Richard Beirne III, took over the role of publisher following his grandfather’s death in 1950, and Beirne spent much of his childhood working in the newsroom and delivering papers.Following his 1965 graduation from Alleghany High School, Beirne went to the Richmond Professional Institute, which would later become Virginia Commonwealth University, and majored in journalism.

Virginian Review publisher Horton Beirne dies at 67

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