Class: 1956Inducted: 2005
E. Donald Lass, along with his father, the late Ernest Lass, the late Wayne MacMurry, and Jules L. Plangere Jr., developed the Asbury Park Press into the second largest newspaper in New Jersey, among the top 75 circulation nationally, and one of the most respected daily newspapers in the country. His partner Jules L. Plangere Jr., APHS 1940, was inducted into the APHS Hall of Fame in 2003.
Mr. Lass graduated from Lafayette College in 1960, and received a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1961. He worked in various areas of the Press, becoming assistant managing editor, executive editor, and in 1980 became the president and CEP of the Press Company and the editor of the newspaper. In 1991, Mr. Lass became both the editor and publisher of the Press and later the Home New Tribune, which was the result of the purchase of the News Tribune and a consolidation of the two newspapers. In 1997 the company sold the Press to Gannett. He is now a partner in Press Communications, which owns radio stations and a television station in Florida and is also a partner in Tri-State Entertainment Partners, LLC, a company that supports motion picture and television production.
Mr. Lass is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Press Association, and Past President of the organization, and of the New Jersey Press Foundation. He was a founding director of the Journalism Resources institute of Rutgers University, and a former member of the University's Board of Overseers and a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has received numerous prestigious awards from civic and professional organizations. He cherishes and honors which were bestowed upon the Press under his watch. The paper became the most honored newspaper in New Jersey and the recipient of many national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Lass is most proud of the newspaper's service to the communities of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and its important role in the growth of the region. The Press sponsored more than 250 education, charitable, and civic activities and contributed millions of dollars to worthy causes, both local and national. Mr. Lass is personally responsibly for writing hundreds of thoughtful, caring, and eloquent editorials during his tenure at the Press, many of which sought to promote the stability of Asbury Park and the Shore Area. He has been involved personally in many civic and charitable activities.
Mr. Lass has been a collector of American music for over 55 years, especially jazz, and has a large and very complete collection. He has written extensively about music. Mr. Lass is the father of two and grandfather of four. He has always identified with the following quotation, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined".