first Black president of the United States.
We also owe our thanks to the schools in the Atlanta University Center for giving us such great stories and intelligent and informed readers. The link to education has been very important to our family. My grandfather and his siblings were the children of a preacher – William A. Scott Sr., who published a weekly journal between 1904 and 1917 in Mississippi. My great-grandfather’s father worked as a scout for an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. This officer offered to educate my great-grandfather. As a result, education has remained one of our most important family values. In addition to Morehouse, Spelman and CAU, we have family members who have Ivy League undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Atlanta Daily World alumni have been outstanding, too. Ebony Magazine Editor Emeritus Lerone Bennett got his start here at ADW. He came to work here after graduating from Morehouse, and went from here to Ebony. Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb went on to work at the Washington Post. Paul Delaney became a national editor for The New York Times. Sportswriter Mark Gray went on to ESPN. My cousin Stanley S. Scott, who died much too young in 1992, left ADW to become the first Black reporter for United Press International. He was in the Audubon Ballroom in New York on Feb. 21, 1965, when Malcolm X was assassinated. As the only reporter present, his story on the incident was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He went on to become the first Black full-time reporter for radio station WINS in New York.
He later went to work for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford before becoming a successful businessman in New Orleans. The cancer center at Louisiana State University School of Medicine is named in his honor.
There are countless others who have gone on to corporate communications jobs, higher education and other professions here in Atlanta and elsewhere following their stints at ADW. The talent through these doors has been amazing.
One of the more recent alumni stories I learned has to do with President Barack Obama. I made this discovery earlier this year while reading Richard Wolffe’s “Renegade – The Making of a President.” Wolffe referred to Obama’s relationship with Frank Marshall Davis, a friend of Obama’s maternal grandfather in Hawaii. It turns out that Obama’s grandfather took him with him to hang out with Davis, so he could have an opportunity to have a Black-male role model. Davis’ name sounded familiar so I checked it out and saw that he had been hired by my grandfather to be the editor of the paper when it became a daily back in 1932. Davis went back to Chicago after my grandfather’s death before moving to Hawaii. How about that?
As we prepare to meet the challenges of the future, we are being honored this year by the Atlanta Press Club. This week, my family and I are being inducted into the inaugural class of the club’s Hall of Fame. We are in some “high cotton,” too. We join CNN Founder Ted Turner; former Los Angeles Times Publisher and former CNN President Tom Johnson; legendary sports columnist Furman Bisher; and longtime TV anchorman John Pruitt in this honor. We definitely won’t forget our 83rd anniversary.
And finally, we are grateful to all of you for being loyal readers over many years. Whether you’re reading us in print or online, we would not be here without you. We look forward to being with you for many years to come. Stay tuned.
M. Alexis Scott is publisher of the Atlanta Daily World.