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Dorothy R. Leavell

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Information about Dorothy R. Leavell

Profile image of Dorothy R. Leavell

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Martin, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
10/23/1944
Birth Location:
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Martin, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
10/23/1944
Birth Location:
Pine Bluff
See how Dorothy R. Leavell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Dorothy Leavell was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on October 23, 1944. Leavell was the valedictorian of her Merrill High School class of 1962 and after relocating to Chicago, Leavell attended Roosevelt University.

Leavell’s first husband, Balm L. Leavell, Jr., founded the Crusader newspaper in Chicago in 1940 and twenty years later, began publishing a similar newspaper in Gary, Indiana. From the time of her husband’s death in 1968, Leavell has served the the Crusader as publisher and editor while rehabilitating its facilities and modernizing the production process.

Leavell was elected president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in June of 1995 for a two-year term and was re-elected in June 1997 ending her term in 1999. During her tenure, she increased the visibility and international stature of the organization. In June of 2006, Leavell was elected Chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation.

A member of the NNPA for more than forty-two years, Mrs. Leavell has served in various other capacities including assistant secretary, a member of the board of directors, and as treasurer, a post she held as for ten years.

Leavell has often been honored and recognized for her philanthropic and civic contributions. A recipient of many awards, she was honored as NNPA’s Publisher of the Year (1989); the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago; State of Indiana’s “Attorney General for a Day; (June 9, 2000); Winnie Mandela Endurance with Dignity Award; Nation of Islam Distinguished Service Award; Operation PUSH Family Affair Award; by the National Association of Black Media Women; the Fourth District Community Improvement Association Award in Gary; Dollars & Sense Magazine Award for Excellence in Business; the Mary McLeod Bethune Award; the Humanitarian Award from the Council on African Affairs; the Publishing Award from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club and as the Grand Ye Ye at the 24th Annual 2013 African Festival of the Arts Chicago, Africa International House, Inc., among many others.

Active in her faith and church, Holy Name of Mary Church in Chicago’s Morgan Park community, Leavell is the wife of John Smith, her second husband, and the mother of two children and three grandchildren. She also raised a niece and nephew.

Dorothy Leavell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 1, 2003.

See how Dorothy R. Leavell is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Leavell's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Leavell lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Leavell describes her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Leavell describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Leavell talks about her parents' courtship and their having children late in life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Leavell describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Leavell recalls growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Leavell describes Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy Leavell talks about the different schools in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy Leavell describes Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Leavell describes her schooling experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Leavell talks about skipping school as a student at Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Leavell talks about the teachers that influenced her as a high school student
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Leavell describes the lessons she learned from her high school principal
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Leavell describes being arrested as a high school student, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Leavell describes being arrested as a high school student, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Leavell talks about Governor Orville Faubus and her senior class trip to Winthrop Rockefeller's farm
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Leavell talks about the Rockefeller family's reputation in her community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dorothy Leavell describes her experiences applying to the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Leavell talks about the significance of the Masonic Temple in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Leavell talks about her father's job as a laborer for the Cotton Belt Railroad
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Leavell describes her move to Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Leavell describes being hired at the "Chicago Crusader"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Leavell talks about marrying the founder of the "Chicago Crusader," Balm Leavell, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Leavell talks about the history of the "Chicago Crusader"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Leavell talks about the Negro Labor Relations League, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Leavell talks about the Negro Labor Relations League, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dorothy Leavell describes the "Chicago Crusader's" support of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Leavell describes the challenges she faced taking over the "Chicago Crusader" in 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Leavell describes the "Chicago Crusader's" response to the murders of Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Leavell describes how the beating of Dr. Herbert Odom caused a shift in Chicago politics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Leavell describes Balm Leavell's contributions to the Exposition of the Negro in Business and Culture
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Leavell talks about Edward Hanrahan's being voted out of office as Cook County State Attorney
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Leavell describes the "Chicago Crusader's" support of Mayor Harold Washington's mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy Leavell describes serving as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Leavell describes the controversies that occurred during her tenure as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Leavell describes the controversies that occurred during her tenure as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Leavell describes the controversies that occurred during her tenure as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, pt. 3
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Leavell describes the challenges the black press faces covering international news
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Leavell talks about former staff members and supporters of the "Chicago Crusader," pt.1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Leavell talks about former staff members and supporters of the "Chicago Crusader," pt.2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dorothy Leavell talks about her concerns for the black press
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy Leavell shares her hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy Leavell describes her most significant accomplishment as publisher of the "Chicago Crusader"
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dorothy Leavell reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dorothy Leavell talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dorothy Leavell narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dorothy Leavell narrates her photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dorothy Leavell narrates her photographs, pt. 3