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November 22, 2002

Harlem School Kids to Inherit NY Times Empire

(2002-11-22) — Inspired by columnist Paul Krugman’s criticism of America’s inherited wealth and status system, New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., today altered his legal will. His share of the vast Times empire and fortune will now be inherited by the senior class of a Harlem, NY, high school.
“I read Paul’s column,” said Mr. Sulzberger, “and I agreed that my offspring shouldn’t inherit my wealth, and the reins of the Times, just because they had the dumb luck to be born in my family. What about all those other kids who weren’t fortunate enough to have me as their father?”
Under the terms of the new will, after Mr. Sulzberger’s death, his share of the New York Times Company will belong to the Harlem high school’s current senior class collectively, and the class president will be the publisher.
According to Mr. Krugman, all children from wealthy families who rise to positions of power or influence do so only because of the social status of their parents, not due to their own abilities, nor to the skills they learned from their parents.
The New York Times has been run by members of Mr. Sulzberger’s family since 1896.

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