Obituary: Quad/Graphics president dies

By Published on .

Harry Quadracci, 66, founder and president of Pewaukee, Wis.-based Quad/Graphics, was found dead July 29 in a lake near his home in Chenequa, Wis.

Mr. Quadracci's body was found at around 3 p.m. in four-and-a-half feet of water in Pine Lake after his family had reported him missing. The Chenequa Police Department and medical examiner's office said the cause of death was accidental drowning. Quad/Graphics announced the appointment of Mr. Quadracci's brother, Tom, previously exec VP, to president.

Two weeks prior to Mr. Quadracci's death, a Quad/Graphics 10-story storage facility in Lomira, Wis., collapsed and caught fire, killing one cleaning-service employee. Company officials said Mr. Quadracci had worked non-stop since the fire, with little rest.

"The publishing industry has lost a man of integrity, love and a giving spirit. He was truly a special person who will be sorely missed," said Nina Link, president-CEO, Magazine Publishers of America. "Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to [his wife and Publisher of Milwaukee Magazine] Betty and his family."

Quad/Graphics is the largest North American privately owned printing company, with more than 1,000 magazine, catalog, direct-mail and retail-insert clients and annual sales of $1.8 billion. The company employs 14,000 people and has plants in North America, Argentina and Poland.

from the ground up

Mr. Quadracci founded the company in 1971 using a $35,000 second mortgage on his home, and built it from 11 employees, a leased press and a borrowed binder. The company's first break came in 1978, when Newsweek signed on as a client. Quad/Graphics still prints Newsweek, as well as Advertising Age, Time Inc. titles People and Sports Illustrated, and catalogs for retailers such as Bloomingdale's and Victoria's Secret. Forbes listed Mr. Quadracci as the 333rd richest man in America last year, with an estimated net worth of $780 million. He used his money for philanthropic activities, donating to educational, cultural and civic groups.

In this article:
Most Popular