Phoenix New Times: Jim Larkin, Co-Founder, Dead at 74

Award-winning newspaper owner and publisher died by own hand just days before a federal trial was to begin

The Phoenix New Times is reporting that co-founding publisher Jim Larkin, who went on to found and run a number of alternative newsweekly publications across the country with long-time business partner Michael Lacey, died by his own hand on July 31, 2023. He was 74 years old.

“Larkin’s death came a week before the scheduled start of his criminal trial in federal court. In 2018, prosecutors charged Larkin and New Times co-founder Michael Lacey with a host of crimes related to their former ownership of Backpage, the now-defunct online classified ad site,” wrote Katya Schwenk and Matt Hennie for the New Times.

“The first trial, which began in September 2021, ended in a mistrial. A retrial, which is expected to last nearly three months, is scheduled to start on Aug. 8.,” they wrote.

In his publication Front Page Confidential, Lacey wrote about his long-time friend, “I never saw my friend do a dishonest or dishonorable thing in his entire life. My writers and editors have reached out to express their sorrow over the only publisher they ever respected, Jim Larkin.”

Larkin’s family released a statement about his passing, also published at Front Page Confidential.

[Top photo courtesy Front Page Confidential]

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