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Stanford Lipsey

They no longer call him “publisher” – he’s now the publisher emeritus – but Stanford Lipsey still hovers over two of his greatest passions in life: The Buffalo News and the Western New York community.

Lipsey, who served as Buffalo News publisher from 1983 through 2012, not only helped lead one of the nation’s most thriving newspapers during a challenging period for the industry, but he also played a significant role in promoting the community.

And at a time when Buffalo is reveling in its renaissance, as measured by the once-extinct cranes that now stand tall near downtown, Lipsey has his signature all over some of the area’s landmark structures.

Lipsey had the region’s political leaders on speed-dial, and he never hesitated to contact local, state and national leaders to lobby for Buffalo projects. Others have credited him with playing a significant role in the building or continued government support of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Darwin Martin House and the Richardson Complex near SUNY Buffalo State.

He has also been a noted preservationist, philanthropist and strong supporter of the arts. Lipsey started the Jazz at the Albright-Knox Series, and even in his retirement from The News, he continues to sponsor that cause. He’s also an accomplished photographer whose prints grace several local public spaces. And he has donated at least $1 million each to both Roswell Park and his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

Those are some of the reasons that U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer once called Lipsey the region’s “guardian angel.”

Now we’re calling him one of our citizens of the year.

– Gene Warner