Dr. William H. Lee, co-founder of The Sacramento Observer, died Sept. 22, 2019, The Observer reports. He was 83.

Lee and two other businessmen started The Observer in 1962. In 1965, Lee and his wife Kathryn became sole owners of the African American paper. They also started the Lee Publishing Company, which operated six publications in California and Nevada in the 1970s and ‘80s.

The Observer received national honors for excellence, and Lee was recognized nationally for community service and leadership.

“It’s hard to put into context the depth and breadth of his impact,” Lee’s son, Larry, told The Sacramento Bee. “He was really a community and bridge builder. He was able to speak to heads and people who were impoverished.”