A Boston native, Bailey became a Tribune reporter in 1950 after graduating from Harvard University. In 1954, he was assigned to the paper's Washington bureau, later becoming its chief.
He was named the morning Tribune's editor in 1972 and resigned a decade later over staff reductions following its merger with the afternoon Minneapolis Star. Bailey returned to Washington, where he was Washington editor for National Public Radio from 1984-87.
Bailey co-wrote three books with Fletcher Knebel, including "No High Ground," "Convention" and "Seven Days in May," about an attempted U.S. military coup. It was made into a 1964 movie directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Fredric March.
Bailey also wrote the 1991 solo novel, "The Land Was Ours," about a newspaper reporter in the Upper Midwest.
Victoria Bailey said that her father "felt a strong commitment to the people of Minnesota."
"He was clear and articulate that . . . people in all parts of the country deserve a good, strong newspaper, and he really cared about Minnesota and the upper Midwest," she said.
Bailey's wife, Ann Card Bailey, died in 2010. Besides his daughter Victoria, survivors include another daughter, Sarah Bailey, and a sister, Joanna Hodgman.