WASHINGTON, Dec. 30—Charles Edward Marsh, newspaperman and publisher, died at his home here today after a long illness. He was 77 years old.
Mr. Marsh, an editor and publisher of newspapers throughout the country, retired from the newspaper business in the early nineteen‐forties.
He was born in Hartwell, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1908 he became editor of The Akron Press. From there, he went to The Cincinnati Post as managing editor. Mr. Marsh left The Post in 1916.
In partnership with E. S. Fentress, he purchased The Waco (Tex.) News‐Tribune and Herald, The Austin (Tex.) American‐Statesman and The Port Arthur (Tex.) News. Mr. Marsh assumed the direction of the news departments while Mr. Fentress directed the business departments.
The pair moved on to St. Paul, Minn., where they purchased The Daily News from Mrs. Mary Ashbaugh in 1928 and sold out to The Pioneer Press Dispatch in 1933.
They guaranteed Mrs. Asbaugh, who at that time was in her 60's, $30,000 a year for life. Mrs. Asbaugh lived to be 80 or more. During the nineteenthirties, Mr. Marsh, in partnership with Eugene Pulliam, published newspapers in Phoenix. Ariz. and at Indianapolis and Muncy, Ind.
Among those who worked for him with “empty pockets” and wound up wealthy were William Prescott Allen, owner of The Laredo (Tex.) Times, who published papers in Colorado and Alaska; Don Reynolds of Fort Smith, Ark., and Lake Tahoe, Nev., who owns newspapers as well as radio and television stations, and Peyton Anderson, publisher of The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph and News.
All these men gave Mr. Marsh credit for giving them a start.
At one time, Mr. Marsh was the owner and publisher of The Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Evening Star, which he later sold to his managing editor, Martin Andersen, who is now the publisher.
Mr. Marsh was a close associate of Henry A. Wallace, Vice President in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third term.
He was also a friend of President Johnson. One of President Johnson's first calls on his return to Washington after the assassination of President Kennedy was to Mr. Marsh, who was ill at his home here for several years.
Before he became ill he had been active in a foundation here he had first established in Austin in 1947. It later merged with the Public Welfare Foundation here. A spokesman said that since its establishment, the foundation had distributed about $4 million to schools, clinics, camps, child‐care institutions and self‐help projects in this country and abroad.
Surviving are his widow; three sons, Charles 2d, John Edwin, and Michael; two daughters, Mrs. Robert Kaskell, and Diana Marsh; a sister, Mrs. Conrad Buff, and a brother, George.