Edward Holmead Harte was born in Pilot Grove, Mo., on Dec. 5, 1922, one of two sons of Houston Harte and Isabel McCutcheon Harte, and grew up in San Angelo.
Besides his son Christopher and his brother, Mr. Harte is survived by another son, William; two daughters, Elizabeth Owens and Julia Widdowson; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandson. His wife of 52 years, the former Janet Frey, died in 1999.
After serving in the Army during World War II, Mr. Harte completed a bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth and was soon working as a reporter at The Claremont Eagle in Claremont, N.H. He later became a reporter at The Kansas City Star. Then he, his brother and Bernard Hanks’s son-in-law, Stormy Shelton, bought The Scurry County Times, a weekly newspaper in Snyder, Tex., and converted it into The Snyder Daily News. It became part of the Harte-Hanks chain.
In 1985, Mr. Harte and his brother, Houston H. Harte, donated their 66,000-acre ranch bordering the Big Bend National Park, about 200 miles east of El Paso, to the Nature Conservancy, leading to its addition to the national park four years later. And in 2000, Mr. Harte donated $46 million to establish the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi.