ORANGEBURG, S.C. - The long-time publisher of The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, Dean Bennette Livingston, has died at age 81.

The newspaper reported Livingston died Tuesday in Columbia.

The veteran journalist retired as the newspaper's publisher in 1999 after 37 years.

Livingston began delivering the newspaper at age eight, and worked his way up through the news, advertising and circulation departments. He became managing editor after attending the University of South Carolina and serving in the Air Force. He was named publisher at age 29.

Livingston saw the newspaper through a major fire in 1972, making sure it published the next day.

He served as president of the South Carolina Press Association in 1969, and was an advocate of the state's Freedom of Information Act.