LIVE TODAY: 50th Anniversary Hub Highlighting Legacy of Late Earl Graves Sr. and Impact of Magazine

BLACK ENTERPRISE has launched a yearlong multimedia tribute to Earl Graves Sr., in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic magazine he founded in 1970. BE: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence will feature exclusive video tributes from CEOs, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and others from all walks of life who were impacted by Graves, who passed away on April 6, 2020 at the age of 85, and Black Enterprise magazine. The multimedia tribute will add exclusive content through 2021, including the publishing of a special limited-edition issue of Black Enterprise magazine celebrating the life and legacy of its visionary founder and leader.

BE: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence will feature an interactive timeline of Black business milestones chronicled by Black Enterprise over the past 50 years, as well as personal tributes from those who knew and where inspired by Graves, and whose lives, careers, and businesses were personally impacted by Black Enterprise. Included among the leaders and luminaries paying tribute are General Catalyst Chairman and former American Express Chairman & CEO Kenneth I. Chenault, former NBA Chief Marketing Officer Pam El, AutoZone CEO William Rhodes III, Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen, and Morgan State University President Dr. David Wilson.

“Our multimedia celebration of the life and legacy of my father and the visionary founder of our company is our way of leveraging what he built to do what he did best—inspire us all to reach beyond limits on behalf of ourselves and of others,” says Black Enterprise President and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. “It is thanks to our evolution from the single-magazine publisher launched by my Dad in 1970, to the digital-first multimedia events company we are in 2020, that we are able to truly share the impact of Black Enterprise over the past 50 years.”

Black Enterprise initially served as a guidebook for African Americans to start and grow businesses, elevate themselves within corporate America, and follow the path to multigenerational success. In the process, the magazine placed a bright spotlight on the achievement of African Americans that served as instruction and inspiration to generations of Black people aspiring to business, career, and financial success—through annual listings of the nation’s largest Black-owned business; the advent of the first African American billionaires; and the journeys of African Americans who rose to the pinnacles of power and influence, including corporate boardrooms, the C-Suite, and the White House. Over the past five decades, Black Enterprise, led by Publisher Graves, served as the biggest and most impactful advocate for the financial and economic empowerment of African Americans and the elimination of barriers to equal opportunity.

Sponsors of BE: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence include AARP, American Airlines, Equitable, Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide, Pfizer and Prudential. Go to the 50th anniversary hub at to see new exclusive content through 2021.