News publisher extraordinaire, Carl Murphy

Carl Murphy
Thu, 1889-01-17

*Carl Murphy was born on this date in 1889. He was an African American Journalist, publisher, civil rights leader, and educator.

Murphy was born in Baltimore, Maryland; his parents were John Henry Murphy Sr. and Martha Howard Murphy. He was graduated from Howard University 1911, Harvard University in 1913, and at the University of Jena in Berlin also in 1913. Murphy served as a professor of German and chairman of the German department at Howard University between 1913 and 1918 It was in that year he joined the staff of The Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, run by his father John Murphy Sr.

He became the editor-publisher of the paper following the death of his father in 1922 and developed it into one of the largest circulated black newspapers in the nation. He used its editorial pages to push for the hiring of African Americans by Baltimore's police and fire departments; to press for black representation in the legislature; and for the establishment of a state supported university to educate African Americans.

With his guidance the paper collaborated with The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on numerous civil rights cases. In the 1950s the newspaper joined forces with the NAACP in the latter's suit against the University of Maryland Law School for its segregationist admission policies. As a community activist, Murphy also helped to build the Maryland branch of the NAACP into one of the largest in the country.

He was the 40th recipient of the NAACP's prestigious Spingarn Medal. Carl Murphy died on February 26, 1967.

African Americans/Voices of Triumph
by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Copyright 1993, TimeLife Inc.

to be a Journalist or Reporter

Person / name: 

Murphy, Carl