David Copley, 60, owner and publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune until it was sold in 2009, died Nov. 20 after crashing his Aston Martin near his home in La Jolla, Calif.

Copley, who received a heart transplant in 2005, died of a heart attack. He had left a board meeting of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, saying he did not feel well.

For several decades, the Copley Press published the San Diego Union and the Evening Tribune; in 1992, the papers merged. After James Copley died in 1973, Helen Copley assumed control. David Copley became publisher in 2001, three years before his mother's death.

But as the newspaper industry's economic fortunes waned, David Copley sold the newspapers and, in effect, retired from public life.

He financed Broadway musicals and art projects by the artist Christo. Shy and uncomfortable in public settings, he nonetheless enjoyed world travel and his yacht, and entertained lavishly at his home in La Jolla.

With David Copley as publisher, the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for exposing the corruption of a leading Republican, Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham.

In 2009, David Copley sold the remaining newspaper interests to a private equity group.