Hamburg (AP) - The publicist and former "star" editor-in-chief Michael Jürgs is dead. He died after a long illness in the night of Friday in Hamburg at the age of 74, as his wife Nikola Jürgs announced.

The journalist was reputed to be an excellent researcher and keen observer in the media industry, but also provoked with his views. In 2019 Jürgs was awarded the prestigious Theodor Wolff Prize of the German newspapers for his life's work.

"I always wanted to become a journalist, (...) because I believed in it and still believe in it today that you can change the world with words," said Jürgs in April 2019 to the news magazine Der Spiegel. He had cancer about a year ago. Jürgs was married for almost 50 years and has a grown-up son.

"I know and appreciate, no, admire Michael for 56 years. The journalist and former Minister of State for Culture Michael Naumann said in his speech that he would not be able to travel to the Theodor Wolff Prize at the end of June in Berlin, to which Jürgs could no longer travel, that he should become a journalistic veteran. Jürgs and Naumann got to know each other in Munich at a young age.

Jürgs, born on May 4, 1945 in Ellwangen, began his journalistic career in 1965 at the "Abendzeitung" in Munich, as a volunteer with a discontinued degree. Three years later, at the age of 23 and in the midst of the sociopolitical 1968 movement, he briefly became feature editor of the paper. In 1976, he moved to the magazine "Stern" in Hamburg as head of entertainment and rose to editor-in-chief (1986 to 1990).

After an editorial on German reunification of the relevant skeptic Jürgs was replaced. He then worked as editor-in-chief of the magazine "Tempo" and briefly as co-host of the NDR "Talk Show", before devoting himself to his own publications.

Jürgs also made a name for himself through a number of books, including biographies about the actress Romy Schneider, the publisher Axel Springer and the Nobel laureate in literature Günter Grass. In a pamphlet ("Shallow - Why we stink unrestrained"), the publicist in 2009, the private television and show sizes. In 2015, he went on a tour of 25 places to answer the question: "Who we were, who we are - How Germans experience their history."