DETROIT (WWJ) – Ben Burns, a former Detroit News executive editor and Wayne State University professor, has died.

Burns, 72, laid the ground work for the famed Journalism Institute for Media Diversity at WSU.

READ MORE: Protestors In Detroit Petition To Grant Immigrant Status To Haitian Migrants

He opened doors for hundreds of minority journalism students to make their way into newsrooms around the country. Burns spent 30 years in the newspaper business at the Detroit News, Macomb Daily and Daily Tribune of Royal Oak and was a member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.

READ MORE: First Lady Jill Biden To Visit Royal Oak On Friday

Burns died at his home after battling acute myeloid leukemia. Burns was married to Beverly Burns for 38 years, they had four children.

MORE NEWS: Michigan Budget Boosts Child Care, Keeps Caregiver Pay Hike

Funeral arrangements are pending.