John L. Dotson Jr., First Black Newspaper Publisher, Dies at 76
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

The New York Times has reported the death of one of the nation’s first African-American publishers of a general circulation daily newspaper, John L. Dotson Jr.

Dotson, who led Ohio’s Akron Beacon Journal to a Pulitzer Prize for a series on race relations, died of mantle cell lymphoma on Friday at his Colorado home. He was 76.

Dotson spoke openly about the pressures on black executives in the predominantly white publishing world.

“When I came along, I would get up in the morning and I would put on this armor and go to work,” Dotson told the Times in a 2000 interview about the Beacon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series, “How Race Is Lived in America.”

He is survived by his wife, Peggy; two sons, John and Christopher; a daughter, Leslie Van Every; a brother, Ronald; a sister, Beverly Spidey; and eight grandchildren.

Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.