John Murphy

John Henry Murphy

John Henry Murphy Sr. (1840-1922),
Founder of the Afro-American newspapers

John Murphy Sr. was born a slave on December 25, 1840 in Baltimore, Maryland, and was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. He served as a sergeant in the infantry during the Civil War and worked as a whitewasher and home decorator before founding the Afro-American newspaper in 1892. With the assistance of his five sons and six daughters, he turned The Afro-American into one of the leading black newspapers of the 20th century. Murphy served as the paper's editor in chief until his death on April 5, 1922.