The Cambrian

Hearst granddaughter dies at 85 after struggle with pneumonia

Phoebe Hearst Cooke
Phoebe Hearst Cooke

Phoebe Hearst Cooke, 85, a former member of the Hearst Corp. Board of Directors and a granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, died Sunday at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, where she was being treated for pneumonia.

“Phoebe Hearst Cooke brought great energy, commitment and focus to every facet of her life,” the Hearst Corp. CEO, Frank A. Bennack Jr., said in statement. “She was an extremely capable and dedicated member of the Hearst Board of Directors for 36 years, as well as a shining leader of her family’s philanthropic interests. She was truly giving — of her time, her means, and her heart. Her accomplishments were considerable and her loss is deeply felt.”

Hearst Cooke was a Hearst Corp. board member from 1962 to 1998.

She was preceded in death by her twin brother, George R. Hearst Jr., a North County rancher and Hearst Corp chairman of the board who died in June.

The two were born in San Francisco in 1927 to George R. Hearst Sr. and Blanche Wilbur. They were media magnate William Randolph Hearst’s first grandchildren, and both were deeply involved with the family business and charitable foundations.

Hearst Cooke’s many causes included preservation of Hearst Castle, the historical landmark donated to the state in 1958.

Her net worth was put at $1.8 billion in September by Forbes magazine, which it ranked as the 239th largest personal fortune in the U.S. Since 2008, her business affairs have been under the conservatorship of George Hearst and his son, George Hearst III.

Hearst Cooke was married to Amory J. “Jack” Cooke, also a former member of the Hearst Corp. board. He died in 2008.

Hearst Cooke is survived by her daughter from a previous marriage, Phoebe “Misty” Tovrea Lipari, and grandson, Kristopher Jay Lipari.

Funeral services will be private, but a memorial service will be held later.

Donations in her memory may be directed to the following organizations:

American Red Cross

San Luis Obispo County Chapter

Disaster Relief Fund

225 Prado Road #A

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Mission San Miguel

775 Mission St.

San Miguel CA 93451

Phoebe A. Hearst Preschool Learning Center

1315 Ellis St.

San Francisco, CA 94415