George R. Hearst Jr., 84, died on Monday, June 25 of complications from a stroke. An avid supporter of the sport of cutting on the West Coast, Hearst owned Estrella Ranch in Paso Robles, Calif., where he and his wife Sue raised Quarter Horses and hosted many cutting events.
Hearst was the oldest grandson of William Randolph Hearst, the twentieth century media magnate and inspiration for fictional character Charles Foster Kane, portrayed by Orson Welles in the award-winning film Citizen Kane (1941). It was William Randolph Hearst who built the famous Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif.
In 1996, George Hearst succeeded his uncle, Randolph Apperson Hearst, as chairman of Hearst Corporation. Randolph Hearst had made headlines in 1974, when an extremist group calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped his 19-year-old daughter Patrica “Patty” Hearst and demanded millions in ransom.
George Hearst is survived by his twin sister Phoebe Hearst Cooke; his wife Susan and her daughter Jessica Gonsalves and her two children; his three children, George R. Hearst III, Stephen T. Hearst and Erin Hearst Knudsen; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Hearst’s oldest child, Mary Hearst Ives died in 2004.