Vernon McKinney, long-time newspaper editor and publisher in East Tennessee, died September 21, 2020 at age 92, at Holston Rehabilitation and Health Center. He was born to Mae and Thomas McKinney in Lenoir City, in 1928.
Newspaper work was in his blood. He worked in various jobs at many different newspapers starting when he was a junior at Lenoir City High School, while attending Tennessee Wesleyan College and also at The Univer sity of Tennessee, where he graduated with a degree in journalism in 1955. After working at the Clinton Courier News, he purchased a weekly newspaper, The Upper Cumberland Times at Jamestown, in 1959. He then returned to his native Lenoir City in 1961 as owner of the weekly newspaper, The Lenoir City News, where he first started his newspaper career as a linotype operator. He was active with the Tennessee Press Association throughout his career, serving as president in 1971. After selling the Lenoir City News in 1980, he owned a typesetting business, The Type Case, in Knoxville.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy Burkhardt McKinney, daughters, Karen McKinney, son-in-law, John Taylor, and Janet Scott and sons, Joel, Justin, and Daniel. He is survived by step-children Doug Burkhardt and daughter-in-law Peggy, Jimmy Burkhardt, and daughter-in-law Gayle, and Angie Wells. He had eight step grand-children.