Sydney Gruson, a grade-school dropout who became a prize-winning foreign correspondent for The New York Times and later a corporate executive of the newspaper's parent company, has died. He was 81.

Gruson, who had suffered from kidney and heart ailments, died Sunday at his Manhattan apartment.He was appointed a New York Times Co. executive in 1969 and went on to become an executive vice president. He then became a director and vice chairman, retiring from the company in 1986.