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He was 84 years old.

Mr. Ingersoll, who lived in West Cornwall, Conn., was flown from his winter home on St. Martin in the French West Indies to Miami Beach for a hernia operation last week and suffered a stroke at the hospital last Friday. The death was a result of complications arising from the stroke.

For two decades until his semiretirement in 1975, he ran more than a score of small to medium sized newspapers in the Northeast under the aegis of Ingersoll Publications. Since 1982, when he formally ended his role in the company, his son, Ralph Ingersoll 2d, has been president of the newspaper chain.

A tall, slender man with a voluminous memory, a combative spirit and an intense interest in the people and events that shaped his times, Mr.

He wrote nine books, including two novels and nonfiction works on his experiences in World War II and on an extraordinary career in which he was managing editor of The New Yorker in the 20’s, the editor of Fortune and publisher of Time magazine in the 30’s, general manager of Time Inc. and one of the principal catalysts in founding Life magazine in 1936.

But it was as founder and editor of the New York City newspaper PM that Mr. Ingersoll was perhaps best known. PM, a tabloid begun in 1940 and folded eight years later, accepted no advertising on the principle that it could best serve readers if it was not beholden to advertisers. It sold for 5 cents a copy when other city papers cost 2 or 3 cents.

PM was Mr. Ingersoll’s vision of an ideal newspaper. Besides reports on local, national and foreign news, it offered comprehensive articles on business, labor, the arts, sports, entertainment and other fields. As a substitute for information found in advertisements, it also provided criticism of merchandise and shopping, a forerunner of consumer affairs articles.

PM’s editorial policy was liberal, and it was the country’s first major newspaper to advocate United States entry into World War II. Most of these editorials were written by Mr. Ingersoll, who collected them in a book called ”Is America Worth Fighting For.”

Much of PM’s war coverage in Europe was provided by Mr. Ingersoll himself as he moved among the front lines and later played a major role in executing a secret plan that deceived the Germans into believing the Allied invasion would strike at Calais instead of the Normandy coast.

In June 1946, five members of PM’s Washington staff, including James Wechsler, quit and accused Mr. Ingersoll of yielding to Communist pressure and using the paper for personal exploitation, liberalism and intolerance. Mr. Ingersoll denied the charge and moved in replacements, including I. F. Stone.

Five months after weathering that crisis, Mr. Ingersoll quit, when Marshall Field 2d, the primary owner, announced that PM would accept advertising in an attempt to reverse its longstanding losses. Two years later, PM was folded into a succession of other papers that eventually died.

PM, whose early circulation had reached 372,000 copies, never made money. In fact, the $1.5 million seed money raised by Mr. Ingersoll in 1939 was gone after three months in 1940. But Mr. Field, one of a score of original investors, bought the others out and kept it going. Ingersoll,
ralph lauren gafas de sol EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
said yesterday from his home in Bethesda, Md. The book, ”Ralph Ingersoll: A Biography,” will be published by Atheneum in June.

Ralph McAllister Ingersoll was born in New Haven on Dec. 8, 1900, the son of Colin Macrae and Theresa McAllister Ingersoll. He graduated from the Hotchkiss School and, in 1921, from Yale University with a degree in mining engineering.

He worked as a mining engineer for two years in the Southwest and in Mexico, but decided to give up engineering for writing and returned to New York in 1923 to take a job as a reporter for The New York American.

In 1925, shortly after the founding of The New Yorker, Mr. Ingersoll was hired by the editor, Harold Ross, to be its first managing editor. ”He was one of the original guiding spirits of The New Yorker he held it together during its first five years,” Mr. Hoopes said.

In the early 30’s, Mr. Ingersoll became managing editor of Fortune and was instrumental in the success of the magazine, owned by Time Inc. In 1935 and 1936, he was general manager of Time Inc., helped begin Life magazine and then became publisher of Time magazine. He was publisher, when, in 1939, he took a leave to plan the foundation of PM.

During World War II, he enlisted as a private, rose to become a lieutenant colonel and eventually joined the staff of Gen. Omar N. Bradley. He wrote several books on the war and his experiences, including ”Report on England,” ”Action on All Fronts,” ”The Battle Is the Payoff” and ”Top Secret.”

”Top Secret,” perhaps his best known and most controversial war book, argued that General Bradley deserved more credit and General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Viscount Montgomery relatively less for winning the war in Europe. His other major books included ”The Great Ones,” ”Wine of Violence” and ”Point of Departure.”

Mr. Ingersoll’s first marriage, to Mary Elizabeth Carden in the 20’s, ended in divorce. He and his second wife, Elaine Keiffer Cobb, were married in 1945 and had two children. After her death, he married Mary Hill Doolittle in 1948; they were divorced in 1962.

Surviving are his fourth wife, the former Selma Bradford, whom he married in 1964, and two sons, Ralph 2d, of Lakeville, Conn., and Ian, of West Cornwall.
ralph lauren gafas de sol EDITOR AND PUBLISHER