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William Blair, Jr.

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Information about William Blair, Jr.

Profile image of William Blair, Jr.

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Newspaper Publishing Executive
Baseball Player
Newspaper Publisher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Peas (Black-Eyed)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
If I Can Help Somebody.

Birthplace

Born:
10/17/1921
Birth Location:
Dallas, Texas

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Newspaper Publishing Executive
Baseball Player
Newspaper Publisher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Peas (Black-Eyed)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
If I Can Help Somebody.

Birthplace

Born:
10/17/1921
Birth Location:
Dallas
See how William Blair, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Baseball player and newspaper publisher William Blair, Jr., was born on October 17, 1921. A former Negro League baseball player turned newspaper publisher, Blair has been a community voice in Dallas for over forty years. Blair attended Booker T. Washington High School and Prairie View A&M University. After six months at Prairie View A&M, Blair enlisted in the United States Army and became the youngest black first sergeant in the United States Army during World War II.

Blair, a Negro League Baseball Museum inductee, pitched from 1946 to 1951 for the Indianapolis Clowns and other Negro League baseball teams. His baseball career included pitching a no-hitter in the Denver Post Tournament, playing with the late Winfield Welch, Jesse “Hoss” Walker, and Buster Haywood, and touring with Jesse Owens and the Harlem Globetrotters. Blair was instrumental in the development of the African American Museum’s Texas Sports Hall of Fame and serves on its advisory board. He was inducted in 1996 as a member of its inaugural class.

Blair founded the Highlight News (1947-1957). He also later founded the Southwest Sports News, a newspaper that specialized in publishing scores from Black college games throughout the United States. The paper was renamed The Elite News in 1960. One of the most influential black newspapers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Elite News created “The Elite News Awards Night,” which was the first African American awards ceremony in Dallas when it began in 1975.

Blair had been a civil rights activist for more than six decades. In 1986, Blair launched the first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Parade, and this parade is now an institution in Dallas. Blair was a major force in local and state politics and was also an advocate for the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. In 2004, he founded the Religious Hall of Fame to honor African American ministers.

Blair lived in Dallas, Texas with Mozelle, his wife of sixty-three years. All of his children were involved in the family business.

Blair passed away on April 20, 2014 at age 92.

See how William Blair, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Blair, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Blair, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Blair, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Blair, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Blair, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Blair, Jr. describes his childhood in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Blair, Jr. remembers celebrating holidays with his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Blair, Jr. describes Benjamin Franklin Darrell Elementary School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Blair, Jr. describes a lesson from his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Blair, Sr. remembers his favorite subjects in school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Blair, Jr. remembers Munger Avenue Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William Blair, Jr. describes his first job in the newspaper business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - William Blair, Jr. remembers his friends at Booker T. Washington High School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - William Blair, Jr. describes the Moorland YMCA in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - William Blair, Jr. describes his mentors at Booker T. Washington High School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - William Blair, Jr. describes his extracurricular activities in high school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - William Blair, Jr. describes his aspirations in high school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 18 - William Blair, Jr. describes his neighborhood in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Blair, Jr. recalls developing a fear of snakes in rural Powell, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Blair, Jr. describes his U.S. Army service during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Blair, Jr. remembers becoming a pitcher for the Indianapolis Clowns
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Blair, Jr. describes his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Blair, Jr. remembers his career with the Indianapolis Clowns
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Blair, Jr. recalls his baseball teammates in the Negro Leagues
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Blair, Jr. talks about the impact of Negro Leagues
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Blair, Jr. reflects upon the changing role of sports teams
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Blair, Jr. talks about the importance of the Negro Leagues' history
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Blair, Jr. remembers founding Elite News
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Blair, Jr. describes the finances of the Elite News
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Blair, Jr. describes his civic involvement in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Blair, Jr. talks about his book, 'The Dallas I Know'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Blair, Jr. describes the Elite News Religious Hall of Fame
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Blair, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Blair, Jr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Blair, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Blair, Jr. narrates his photographs