Cecil Newman, a Minnesota legend in journalism

Cecil Newman
Sat, 1903-07-25

Cecil Newman was born on this date in 1903. He was an African American newspaper publisher and businessman.

He was born in Kansas City, the grandson of former slaves from Tennessee and Missouri. His father (Horatio Oscar Newman) worked as an attendant at a private white-owned and operated club. While a young boy, Newman sold papers to make extra change and worked in the office for the local Black newspaper, the Kansas City Call. Just before graduation from high school, Newman married Willa Coleman. After their first child (Oscar Horatio) was born, his family moved to Minneapolis. There he worked as a Pullman porter and around 1927, he founded and wrote for the Twin Cities Herald.

In 1932, he published the Timely Digest a weekly magazine and in 1934, Newman became editor and publisher of the Minneapolis Spokesman and the St. Paul Recorder. He remained owner and publisher until his death in 1976.

In 1948, while in the newspaper business he became the first Black president of the Minneapolis Urban League. For over 50 years, his influence shaped opportunities for Black people and provided them with a source of news and information not found in local white newspapers throughout the state.

In 1965, he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from Allen University, South Carolina.

Newman is credited with being one of the most significant Minnesotans of his time.

Cecil E. Newman, Newspaper Publisher
by L. E. Leipold Ph.D.
T.S. Denison & Company, Inc. Minneapolis

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Newman, Cecil