Walter B. Grimes, media merger broker

July 10, 2013

Walter B. Grimes, a media merger broker who founded a company to specialize in print publications, died June 29 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He was 97.

The cause was complications from colon cancer and respiratory failure, said his son, Larry Grimes, the current owner of W.B. Grimes & Co.

Mr. Grimes founded W.B. Grimes & Co. in 1959, after working as an advertising sales representative in New York and for a New York- and D.C.-based investment banking firm’s broadcast brokerage division.

Mr. Grimes focused on the sale and acquisition of daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and radio stations. Mr. Grimes sold and appraised more than 1,000 newspapers across the country before retiring in 1984, his family said. Among them were the publications in the Journal Newspapers chain.

Walter Bell Grimes was born in the Bronx. He graduated from Cornell University in 1936. He was an Army Air Forces veteran of World War II. He settled in the Washington area in 1954 and most recently was an Arlington County resident.

Mr. Grimes was a member of the Travelers’ Century Club, whose members have visited 100 or more countries or territories, the National Press Club and the National Newspaper Association.

His first wife, Maria Josepha Hess, whom he married in 1952, died in 1987. His second wife, Janice Brown, whom he married in 1988, died in 2010.

Survivors include three children from his first marriage, Larry Grimes of Gaithersburg, Cathy Sanders of Manassas and Judy Stark of Rothschild, Wis.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

— Stefanie Dazio