Former MBJ editor, co-owner Buddy Bynum dead at 59

James L. "Buddy" Bynum

RIDGELAND — James L. “Buddy” Bynum, former editor and co-owner of the Mississippi Business Journal and a former aide to Gov. Haley Barbour and former Sen. Trent Lott, has died at his home in Ridgeland. He was 59.

Family members said Bynum died Saturday of complications of pancreatic cancer.

A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Madison with burial at 4 p.m. in Little Rock, Miss.

Survivors include his wife, Sandy; a daughter; a step-son; two grandchildren; and his parents.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” Sandy Bynum said in a statement. “We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress.”

He served nearly five years as director of communications for Barbour.

“Buddy Bynum and I were friends for years before he became my communications director. Of course he was editor of the Meridian Star, but we had worked together during his days in Washington with Sen. Lott and had known each other for a long time before that. So for me, this is more than the loss of a great staffer but a true friend,” Barbour said in a statement.

From 1993-1997, Bynum was editor and a co-owner of the Mississippi Business Journal.

“We have lost a truly great journalist and the editor we all looked up to as the standard bearer at the Mississippi Business Journal,” editor Ross Reily said. “The work he produced while at the MBJ is what we all strive to work toward. It is truly sad to lose someone of his stature. He will be missed.”

From 2000-2005, Bynum was editor of the Meridian Star, his hometown newspaper.

Bynum was director of public affairs at the Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development, the predecessor agency of the Mississippi Development Authority, from 1998-2000.

Bynum’s career included service as a deputy assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and press secretary for Lott, both in Washington, D.C. Earlier in his career, after majoring in journalism at the University of Mississippi where he was editor of The Daily Mississippian, he worked for The Sun-Herald on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and covered state government and politics for the Jackson Daily News.

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