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Posted at 1:23 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Arthur W. 'Nick' Arundel dies at 83; local newspaper magnate helped found Great Meadow

By T. Rees Shapiro

Updated: Read the full obituary here.

Arthur W. "Nick" Arundel, the founder of the Northern Virginia Times Community newspapers, died Feb. 8 at his home in The Plains, Va. He was 83.

Mr. Arundel, a native Washingtonian, began his journalism career as a reporter for the United Press as a White House correspondent. He later purchased a Washington country music radio station which he turned into WAVA, one of the region's first all news stations.

In 1963, he bought the Loudoun Times Mirror, then the second oldest weekly newspaper in the country, and founded what became Times Community newspapers.

At its peak, Times Community owned 17 Washington-area newspapers with a combined circulation of 270,000. (One of them was the Fairfax County Times, which Mr. Arundel's company sold to The Washington Post in 2009.)

In 1982, Mr. Arundel bought 500 acres of Fauquier County land in a bankruptcy sale. The bucolic parcel eventually became Great Meadow, an events center, polo facility and steeplechase course that is home to the spring and fall Gold Cup thoroughbred races.

Another interesting story: Mr. Arundel personally donated two baby gorillas to the National Zoo in 1955. He acquired them during a safari to the Belgian Congo in Africa and brought the gorillas to Washington on a commercial airplane with the babies sitting in his lap.

If you have any memories of Mr. Arundel please leave them below.

By T. Rees Shapiro  | February 8, 2011; 1:23 PM ET
Categories:  T. Rees Shapiro  | Tags:  Arthur W. Arundel, Great Meadow, National Zoo, Nick Arundel  
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I am sorry to here of the passing of Mr. Arundel. I worked closely with him for several years and greatly admired him, his work, and his philanthropy. My regards to his entire family at this difficult time.

Posted by: slsinva | February 8, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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