TUPELO, Miss. — The longtime editorial page editor of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal has died.

The newspaper reports that Joe Rutherford died Tuesday at age 69 from complications of diabetes. He had retired from the Tupelo-based newspaper in 2016 after 44 years.

Rutherford, who was born in Corinth and graduated from high school in Ripley, wrote editorials for the Daily Journal for decades, providing its institutional voice on many issues. The newspaper’s advocacy for public education and an expanded highway network were notable during his tenure.

Former Daily Journal Editor Lloyd Gray says Rutherford was a firm believer in the principles former Journal CEO and Publisher George McLean built the newspaper around. McLean eventually gave the newspaper to a nonprofit entity tasked with improving life in northeast Mississippi.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.