Pearl L. Stewart, a journalist and educator, made history on December 1, 1992 after becoming the editor of “The Oakland Tribune.” The hiring made Stewart the first Black woman to head a major metropolitan daily news publication.
Stewart was born in 1951 and was raised between Camden, Ala. and Rochester, N.Y. She entered Howard University at 16, graduating in 1971. Stewart earned a master’s from American University a year later.
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After working as a reporter in the Bay Area from 1976 to 1991 for both the “Tribune” and the “San Francisco Chronicle,” the new owners of the Tribune named her editor based on her extensive knowledge of local happenings.
The job didn’t last long as the paper’s former editor returned from a leave of absence, prompting Stewart to state she could not work with the man.
In the years since, Stewart has worked as both and educator and journalist. In the early 2000s, she created the “Black College Wire” website while also teaching at Florida A&M University. She was also a journalist-in-residence at Xavier University, among other stops in her long career.
Pearl Stewart resides in Washington, D.C.
PHOTO: Xavier University Digital Archives
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