Oral history interview with John H. Murphy III, 1971


Murphy, John H., 1916- (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with John H. Murphy III, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of John H. Murphy III : oral history, 1971; Oral history of John H. Murphy III, 1971
In this interview with Henry G. La Brie III, John H. Murphy III discusses his education, interest in journalism and the history of the Afro-American. Murphy's interest in the newspaper business lay in the business aspects of running a newspaper - circulation and advertising; he reports that he learned journalism skills on the job. Murphy shares information on the founding, expansion of the Afro-Ame rican; and the decision to end printing of the Afro-American in Philadelphia in the 1960s. He explores the role of the black press, its influence on black and white audiences; in addition to its role as a supplement to the white press for the black community, and role as a window into the happenings of local black communities for the white press and community. Murphy discusses the importance of black newspapers being black owned, and the need for these institutions to be studied for their contribution to journalism and American history. Murphy discusses the production and profitability of daily publication and distribution, in addition to his beliefs on the need for a national black newspaper. Also discussed is the history of the black press and changes in the black press since the founding of the Afro-American.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalists; African American press; African American journalists; Newspaper publishing--Economic aspects--United States; African Americans--Civil rights; Journalism--Social aspects; Family-owned business enterprises; Philadelphia (Pa.); United States Race relations; Murphy, John H., 1916-; Afro-American (Baltimore, Md. : National ed.)
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 31 pages
Note (Biographical)
John H. Murphy III (1916-2010) was the son of Daniel H. Murphy and Sarah Clements Murphy, and the grandson of John H. Murphy, Sr., who founded the Afro American, in 1892. After the death of his father he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his mo ther who remarried there. Murphy began working for the family business at the Philadelphia Afro-American, a paper founded by his great uncle, John H. Murphy. Murphy graduated from Temple University in 1937 with a degree in business administration and began working as the Office Manager at the Washington Afro-American, rising through the ranks to serve as Director, Assistant Business Manager, President, Board Chairman and Publisher. He also served on several Boards in the Washington and Baltimore area, including Council on Equal Business Opportunities, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Baltimore School of the Arts; and was a member of the Mayor's Commission to Study Municipal Finance, the Baltimore City Literacy Commission, and the Governor's Commission on Crime Prevention. In addition, he served on the advisory Board for Morgan State University. He was the recipient of several awards, among them Citizen of the Year from the City of Baltimore, Father of the Year, a Distinguished Citizens Public Service Award, and Publisher of the Year award. Murphy married Ann Quivers in December 1940; together they had two children Sharon and Daniel. After Anne's death, Murphy married Camay Calloway in 1980. Murphy passed away in 2010.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on June 26, 1971.
Note (Provenance)
Henry G. La Brie III Gift, 1975
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
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Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
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Available digital content for this interview.