Hartford N. Gunn, Jr., was the founding president of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
Gunn was born in Port Washington, N.Y. in 1926. He graduated from Harvard University with an MBA in 1951. Shortly after graduating, he began working as the general manager of WBGH-TV in Boston; at that point, it was an FM radio station, and Gunn helped develop and expand its television service. He left WBGH in 1970 to become the first president of PBS. Although he was plagued by low budgets, he helped implement a financial cooperative and a satellite service for the member stations, which helped them operate more independently and offer robust content.
In 1979, he departed PBS to become the general manager for KCET in Los Angeles, where he served until his retirement in 1983. After retirement, he worked as a television consultant from his home in Annapolis, Md. He died of cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital on January 2, 1986.