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Founder Editor- William Alexander Scott II

On August 5, 1928, William Alexander Scott II, age 26, founded The Atlanta Daily World. It was the first successful African American daily newspaper in the United States.
When The Daily World was founded there was only one other black paper in the Atlanta area, The Atlanta Independent, which shut down in 1933, consequently leaving The Daily World as the lone voice for the city's growing black community. In the first issue, Scott stated that, "The publishers of The Atlanta World have felt the need of a Southern Negro Newspaper, published by Southern Negroes, to be read by Southern Negroes." Scott hired agents to solicit subscriptions door to door and utilized newsboys, and by 1930 the paper--whose offices were located on Auburn Avenue, once considered the "mecca of black commerce"--was one of the most widely circulated black newspapers in the Deep South.

Scott launched the paper mainly as a business venture, not a political venture. As a result, it was able to secure local and national advertisements from both black and white businesses, including Coca-Cola, Sears, Roebuck & Company, and Rich's, the largest department store in Atlanta. White businesses did not feel unduly threatened by the paper's editorial position, as they might have with a black paper such as The Chicago Defender or The Negro World, which were "militant" in their attacks against southern white racism.

The Atlanta Daily World became a semi-weekly in May 1930, and a triweekly in April 1931. In 1931, Scott also began circulating The Chattanooga Tribune, The Memphis World, and The Chattanooga Tribune, and by so doing established the first chain of African American newspapers. The chain eventually included as many as 50 newspapers.

The Daily World became a daily newspaper on March 13, 1932. As a daily paper, it was set apart from other black newspapers, the majority of which were published as weeklies. Its new format allowed for more timely news coverage.
On February 4, 1934, Scott was shot and killed while walking from his garage. No one was ever convicted of his murder. His brother, Cornelius Adolphus Scott, subsequently became the head of The Daily World. Under his leadership, the newspaper adopted a more conservative, Republican position, reflecting C.A. Scott's political views.
Some of the national issues The World covered included lynchings, police brutality, capital punishment, the Scottsboro Boys trial, discrimination in the federal government, school segregation and mistreatment of African American soldiers during World War II.
The Atlanta Daily World was one of the first newspapers to report on "black on black" crimes. It also encouraged African Americans to patronize black owned businesses (including the "Don't Buy Where You Can't Work" campaign) and, in the 1940s, sponsored voter registration efforts. As a community oriented paper, it also featured social, church, and sports news.

The Daily World was also the first paper to send an assigned correspondent to the White House. Reporter Harry S. Alpin became the first person of African American descent to cover the White House on February 8, 1944.
During the Civil Rights era, The Daily World was criticized for not supporting sit-ins staged at several white-owned restaurants in downtown Atlanta. Scott reasoned that African Americans would more effectively improve their situation by working towards ending segregation in education, obtaining political and voting influence, and improving their economic situations rather than engaging in this form of protest.
Scott retired from The Atlanta Daily World in 1997, at the age of 89. He had been the editor, publisher, and general manager for 63 years. On August 14, 1997, his great niece, Alexis Scott Reeves, was named publisher.


Murphy, James Buford. A Study of the Editorial Policies of the Atlanta Daily World: 1952-1955. Emory University, 1961. (Thesis)

Oliver, Saddie Mae. The History and Development of the Atlanta Daily World; the nation's only Negro daily newspaper. Hampton Institute, 1942. (Thesis)

Teel, Leonard Ray. "W.A. Scott and The Atlanta Daily World." American Journalism. Volume VI (1989), Number 3.