Robert. C. Maynard was a trailblazing journalist who defied odds by becoming the first Black owner of a major newspaper on this day in 1983.
Maynard’s miraculous journey from high school dropout to becoming the editor and owner of The Oakland Tribune began with him chasing his dreams in the 1950s. Born June 17, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York to immigrant parents from Barbados, Maynard discovered a love of writing early on.
At 16, inspired by his love of courtroom reporting, Maynard dropped out of high school and began working for the New York Age, a former African-American news weekly. Maynard then reported for the Afro-American News in Baltimore before landing his first major job working for Pennsylvania’s York Gazette and Daily in 1961.
In 1965, the Neiman Foundation for Journalism awarded Maynard with a year-long fellowship. In 1967, Maynard joined The Washington Post and became the paper’s first Black national correspondent. In 1977, Maynard left The Post to open the University of California, Berkeley-based Institute for Journalism Education with his journalist wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard.
The center, which helps train minority students preparing for journalism careers and beyond, has since been renamed the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Maynard joined the Oakland Tribune after being hired by the Gannett group. The paper serviced the mostly Black Oakland region and was failing miserably in comparison to larger, White-owned Bay Area publications.
Gannett, forced to sell the paper in 1983, went with Maynard because of his proven leadership and business savvy. The Maynard family owned the paper until Maynard’s cancer spread and circulation began to drop.
Though the Maynard family sold the paper in 1992, Robert remained on board as its publisher and editor until he succumbed to cancer the following year at age 56.
Maynard did not encourage students to follow his footsteps in leaving school.
“I say to young people today that they must stay in school. Autodidacts, self-teachers, are of another age, I tell them,” wrote Maynard in one of his popular Tribune columns.
Bay Area journalist Paul Cobb once said, “Maynard is to publishing what Jackie Robinson is to baseball.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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