Hank Rieger, Former ATAS President, Dies at 95

Hank Rieger, who served two stints as president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, died Wednesday in Oceanside, Calif. He was 95.

News of his death was confirmed in a post on the academy's website.

Rieger served as president of the of the television academy's Los Angeles chapter from 1973 to 1975, and served two terms as president of the West Coast-based ATAS from 1977 to 1980. He created Emmy Magazine in 1979 and would serve as the publication's editor and publisher.

"Hank Rieger worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the television academy," said ATAS chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum. "He believed in the Academy's ability to have a positive impact on the entire entertainment industry, and we are deeply grateful for all he contributed."

Rieger was born Sept. 20, 1918 in Kansas City, Mo., and spent most of his childhood in Phoenix, Ariz. He was drafted into the Army during World War II and left the service after the war with the rank of major. He became a journalist for United Press, then went on to work as a publicist at NBC. Rieger left NBC in 1979, and after a brief turn as head of publicity for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, became an independent publicist. He worked closely with ESPN during the sports network's fledgling years.

Rieger is survived by his sister Ruth, and his niece, Julie. His wife of 65 years, Deborah A. Rieger, died in 2013.