WASHINGTON Dec 12 Joe Lewis Allbritton, a media
mogul and owner of the scandal-plagued Riggs National Bank, died
on Wednesday at a hospital in Houston. He was 87.
Allbritton died of heart ailments, said Jerald Fritz, a
senior vice president of Allbritton Communications.
Allbritton's media empire included newspapers throughout the
U.S. Northeast and ABC network affiliates. Allbritton's son,
Robert, recently founded the influential political publication
But Joe Allbritton, a Mississippi native, was famously known
for owning and running Riggs, the Washington-based bank that had
been a dominant force in diplomatic banking in the nation's
Allbritton's banking career was tarnished when it was
revealed that Riggs bank failed to report suspicious activity in
the accounts held by former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet
and Equatorial Guinea officials.
Riggs bank pleaded guilty in 2005 to violating anti-money
laundering laws and was fined a total of $41 million.
Allbritton did not seek re-election to Riggs' board of
directors and the storied bank was eventually acquired by PNC
Allbritton is survived by his wife, son and two