Long before James “Jim” Atkins ascended to the top leadership role within Gaston County’s hometown newspaper, he was learning what made the publication tick from the ground up and the inside out.
“I read proofs in the summer and he sold ads and picked them up and so forth,” said his first cousin, Garland Atkins. “It was the family business and we sort of grew up with it.”
Jim Atkins, 87, a former publisher and president of The Gaston Gazette – when it was still known as The Gastonia Gazette – died Sunday, May 26. He had been living at Carolina Care Health and Rehabilitation in Cherryville.
He was known not only for his career in business and media, but for his influence in a period of transition in local politics. He was also an early champion of the local community college system and of numerous civic groups