Norman N. Newhouse, a low-profile news-paperman who helped establish the world's largest family owned communications empire, died of a heart attack. He was 82.

Newhouse died Sunday in his home.The family's holdings, now run by his nephews, include 26 U.S. newspapers, Conde Nast magazines, major book publishers and cable TV systems.

Like his brothers, the late Samuel I. and Theodore Newhouse, he shunned the limelight and was little known outside the newspaper business.

"We never went in for titles," he said in a 1985 interview. "We are, basically, anonymous people. If I were to walk into a room in New Orleans with the 100 most prominent people in town, there may be two who would know me personally. Most would probably know the name and the connection, but they wouldn't know me personally or recognize me by my face because my public position is non-existent."

For the past 20 years, Newhouse was based in New Orleans, although much of his time was spent in Alabama and Ohio visiting Newhouse newspapers there. He did not take a role in the day-to-day operations of the Times-Picayune, the Newhouse group's paper in New Orleans.

Newhouse kept a low profile in keeping with the philosophy he and his brothers adhered to.

The empire - now run by S.I. Newhouse's two sons, Samuel I. Newhouse Jr. and Donald Newhouse - includes Vogue, Gourmet, Vanity Fair, HG, GQ and the New Yorker magazines, the Parade Sunday newspaper supplement, the Random House book publishing group and cable TV systems serving a million homes.