Max Heath, former executive editor for Landmark Community Newspapers and chairman of the National Newspaper Association Postal Committee for 30 years, died Wednesday morning. He was 75.
Heath had been hospitalized in Louisville since suffering a hemorrhagic stroke last Friday, according to the Kentucky Press Association.
Heath was a champion for all newspapers when it came to anything related to postal regulations and had a reputation for knowing the Domestic Mail Manual better than even most postal officials. He was frequently in Washington, testifying before Congress and working with USPS officials.
Heath, a native of Campbellsville, lived in Shelbyville where he worked in the central office of Landmark, which owned The News-Enterprise and other Kentucky newspapers for decades before selling to Paxton Media Group last month.
Heath was widely known around the newspaper industry for his work on behalf of periodical postage issues. He conducted seminars for decades and continued to act as a consultant during his retirement years.
Heath stepped into NNA’s top postal policy position in 1989 when he joined the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, a post he maintained in emeritus status through 2021.
The Postal Service presented him its first Special Achievement award at the National Postal Forum on Sept. 2, 1998. He served on numerous task forces and special committees to oversee the many changes in USPS and to guide its technical and logistical initiatives to preserve the affordable national mail delivery options of the community newspapers he cherished.
“Max’s generous way of helping people to understand the ins and outs of using the mail will live on in the education he provided his successors,” NNA Executive Director Lynne Lance said in a statement. “No one will ever replace the knowledge Max had. But we pledge to honor his legacy by making sure community newspapers remain in the forefront of the Postal Service’s mission,” she said.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Ruth Ann Heath. Arrangements are incomplete.