John Dillon

Stephen L. Brown, founder of the Vermont Vanguard Press, longtime publisher of the Providence Phoenix and a leader for nearly four decades in New England’s alternative newspaper industry, died Monday at Rhode Island Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was 62.

Brown has endured health challenges in recent years with his usual mix of grit and humor. He was a grand companion, whether on the golf course and the 19th hole, at Fenway Park or grilling swordfish in his backyard. He especially enjoyed Pawtucket Red Sox games at McCoy Stadium.

Stephen L. Brown, longtime associate publisher of the Providence Phoenix, is leaving the alternative newspaper after a career of nearly four decades as a leader in New England’s alternative newspaper landscape.

Brown, of Jamestown, turns 60 next month. Steve started in newspapering at the University of Vermont, where he began working on the student newspaper, `The Vermont Cynic’ as an undergraduate in the 1970s.