Stephen Rogers
The Post-Standard
Herald American

Stephen Rogers mixed his long newspaper career with active involvement in organizations that strived to make Syracuse and Onondaga County a better place to live and work. He was still deeply involved in operation of the Syracuse Newspapers and in a number of community organizations right up until his death 47 years after arriving in Syracuse.

Starting as a reporter for the International News Service in Detroit after graduation from Michigan State University, he went on to being a copy editor for the NewYork Herald Tribune’s European edition, a reporter for the Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger, editorial writer and city editor for the Long Island Press (Jamaica), and editor of the Long Island Star-Journal, Long Island City.

Steve came to Syracuse in 1955 as publisher of The Post Standard. By 1958, he was named president of the Herald Company and publisher of its three newspapers – the morning Post Standard, evening Herald-Journal and Sunday Herald American. In 1981, he turned over his title of publisher to his son, Stephen A. Rogers, but continued as president of the company.

A wide range of organizations and businesses benefited from Steve Rogers' leadership and expertise. He was chairman of the Metropolitan Development Association and of the Metropolitan Water Board; a director of Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital, the Discovery Center, and the YMCA.; and a member of St. Joseph’s Hospital advisory board. He served as president of the United Way from 1980 to 1982, and chairman of its 1978 campaign.

He was a member of the LeMoyne College Board of Regents (1977-93); a director the the Cerebral Palsy Clinic of Syracuse, the Syracuse Boys’ Club, the American Red Cross, Merchants National Bank, Syracuse Symphony and Syracuse Stage.

He was a member and past president of the New York State Publishers Association and a member of the American Newspapers Association and served on its Labor Committee.

The leadership contributions so generously offered did not go unnoticed. Many Central New York organizations showed their appreciation with numerous honors.

In 1964, Steve Rogers received the first Law Day award the Onondaga County Bar Association. In 1967, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by Michigan State University. In 1970, he was cited by the Jewish War Veterans for distinguished service to the community as chairman of the Onondaga County Solid Waste Disposal Committee. The Syracuse Chiefs (now SkyChiefs) selected him as Bullpen Chief in 1971 for his assistance in returning International League baseball to Syracuse and for promoting the sale of $100,000 in stock to make the Chiefs a community-owned team.

He received the ADL “Torch of Liberty” in 1972; the Boy Scouts of America Hiawatha Council’s Distinguished Citizen Award in 1982, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Syracuse University in 1988. He was selected as a “Man of the Year” by Temple Adath Yeshurun in 1979 and received the “Man of the Year” award from the Boys Town of Italy in 1980. Induction onto the Syracuse Press Club's Wall of Distinction was another expression of gratitude to Steve Rogers for his participation in the growth of his profession and community.

Steve Rogers worked at the job he loved almost to the end. He was stricken as he was leaving for work, and died a week later on Nov. 12, 2002, at the age of 90.
--Joseph A. Porcello