Thomas Fortune

Thomas Fortune

P.B. (Plummer Bernard) Young Sr.(July, 1884-October, 1962)
Newspaper editor and publisher

P.B. Young Sr. has often been called the "Dean of the Negro Press."
Born in Littleton, North Carolina, he learned the newspaper business as a youth while serving as an assistant to his father, Winfield Young, the founder and publisher of The True Reformer, a small newspaper in their hometown. He attended St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1903 to 1905. He moved to Norfolk in 1910, and purchased The Gideon Lodge Journal and Guide, a fraternal publication, and subsequently renamed it The Journal and Guide.

During his 50-year tenure, The Norfolk Journal and Guide became the largest selling black newspaper in the South, and one of the most influential Black papers in the United States. Many critics considered it to be the best edited black newspaper in the country. It garnered P.B. Young Sr. "the Editor of the Year" award from the National Negro Publishers Association in 1960.

Young was an active community leader. He served on the President's Commission on Fair Employment Practices in 1943, and on the educational boards of several predominantly black colleges including Howard University (1934-1948), Hampton Institute (1940-1944), and Virginia State College (1935-1962).

He suffered from respiratory ailments and died of pneumonia on October 9, 1962. His son, Thomas White Young, took over the Guide until his death in 1967.

Further Reading

Suggs, Henry Lewis. P.B. Young: Newspaperman (Race, Politics, and Journalism in the New South 1910-1962. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1988.