Patty Hearst's Husband Bernard Shaw Dies of Cancer

Friday, 20 Dec 2013 11:52 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Bernard Shaw, husband of Patty Hearst and vice president of corporate security for the Hearst Corp., died from cancer at his home in Garrison, N.Y., on Wednesday.

Shaw, 68, a former San Francisco police officer, met Hearst during the most tumultuous time in the newspaper heiress' life. They met in 1976 shortly after she was released on bail for robbing a bank, according to

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She was convicted later that year, and Bernard drove 60 miles from his home near San Francisco four times a week to visit her in confinement in Pleasanton, Calif. She spent 22 months in prison. The couple got engaged in 1978 on Valentine's Day and married the following year.

Hearst, now 59, is the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, a media powerhouse.

"I remember I thought she was awfully small," Shaw said of Hearst in a 1978 People interview. "And I thought she was cute. She had a real nice smile."

A family representative released a statement following Shaw's death.

"He went peacefully at home with his wife of 34 years, sister Joan, and daughters Lydia Hearst and Gillian Hearst-Simonds, along with [her] husband Christian Simonds by his side," the representative told "He was loved deeply by his family and adored by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting and knowing him. We kindly ask that you respect the privacy of the family during this time."

The News-Times in Danbury, Conn. wrote that Shaw joined the Hearst Corp. in 1983 and rose to the rank of vice president of corporate security.

"For three decades, Bernie served Hearst Corporation with loyalty and distinction," Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of the Hearst Corp. told the News-Times. "All of us are grateful for his long tenure and friendship. He will be greatly missed."

Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman of Hearst, said: "Bernie was a dedicated employee — much beloved by his fellow workers — as well as a loving father and husband. Our condolences go out to his immediate family and the entire Hearst family as well."

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