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Earl Graves Sr who Founded Black Enterprise Magazine Dead at 85 After Long Battle With Alzheimer's

Monica Otayza
Apr 09, 2020
11:00 A.M.

Black Enterprise founder, Earl G. Graves Sr., has passed away at age 85 after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease, as confirmed by his son.


Earl G. Graves Sr., who founded Black Enterprise, is an entrepreneur who created avenues for African Americans to build wealth through money management, entrepreneurship, and career advancement. His son, Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., confirmed that his dad quietly passed away at 9:22 PM on April 6, after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

He built the Black Enterprise empire from being a magazine publishing company to a multimedia business that catered to more than 6 million African-Americans.

A portrait of Earl G. Graves Sr., pioneer of Black Enterprise | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

A portrait of Earl G. Graves Sr., pioneer of Black Enterprise | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine


Graves was considered the "ultimate champion" of black business, as he launched Black Enterprise in 1970 to jumpstart the rise of Black entrepreneurs. Through his company, he provided the tools needed for African-Americans to succeed in business, and "achieve their measure of the American dream."


Black Enterprise began as a magazine that aimed to promote economic development in the African-American community. Its goal was to inspire people to thrive professionally and economically as empowered citizens of the country.


Later on, Graves would also author a book called "How To Succeed In Business Without Being White," which is an award-winning business bestseller. Through the years, he built the Black Enterprise empire from being a magazine publishing company, to a multimedia business that catered to more than 6 million African-Americans through print, digital, broadcast, and live-event platforms.


Graves also went on to own Pepsi-Cola of Washington D.C., one of the US' largest soda distributors owned by African-Americans. Due to his large influence, he also served as board member to major corporations such as American Airlines, Daimler Chrysler, Rohm & Hass, and Federated Department Stores, which is the company behind Macy's.



It is an extremely difficult time for member of the older generations, especially with the rising threat of the Coronavirus pandemic. Although Graves passed away from a long-standing illness, thousands of senior citizens have passed away due to the highly-contagious virus.

May they Rest In Peace.

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