Miami Times Publisher Garth Reeves Sr., “Conscience of the Black Community,” Dies at 100

Garth Reeves, Sr. Miami Herald, Publisher Emeritus

According to his biography: “Garth C. Reeves, Sr. was born on February 12, 1919 in Nassau, Bahamas. His family moved to Miami, Florida four months after he was born. His father, Harry Ethelbert Sigismund Reeves, was a partner in The Magic Printing Company and founder of the Miami Times; his mother, a homemaker. His daughter, Rachel J. Reeves, became publisher and chief executive officer of the Miami Times in 1994 following the untimely death of her brother, Garth C. Reeves, Jr. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami in 1936, Reeves enrolled in Florida A & M University, where he earned his B.A. degree in printing in 1940.

“Reeves served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942 to 1946 in both the European and Pacific theaters. He then returned to Miami to work under his father Harry

Garth Reeves, then 80, (100 years*) (November 26, 2019) (and daughter Rachel Reeves, then 40, (69 years*) (September 12, 2019). Pictured here Rachel was The Miami Times’ publisher in this 1999 photo, seven years after assuming the title her father and grandfather had held at the paper, which has documented South Florida’s black community since its founding in 1923. When Garth Sr. announced his retirement in 1992 and made it official in 1994, he didn’t see his daughter as The Miami Times publisher. He had groomed his son, her brother Garth Jr., for that role. But in 1982, Garth Jr. died at 30 of colon cancer. Garth Sr. stayed on to run The Miami Times and when he envisioned retirement, he figured on selling the paper, according to an article in the Miami Herald. (*at death) Photo by Walter Michot/Miami Herald File

Ethelbert Sigismund Reeves, who founded the Miami Times newspaper in 1923. In 1970, Reeves was named publisher and chief executive officer of The Times  when his father passed. Reeves went on to become the first African American to serve on the governing boards of the Miami-Dade Community College, Barry University, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way of Dade County.

“He also served as organizing chairman of the board for National Industrial Bank, which was the first integrated bank in the State of Florida. During the 1950s, Reeves worked to integrate the local beaches, parks, and golf courses. Reeves served for ten years as president of the Amalgamated Publishers of New York City, which represents over one hundred African American-owned newspapers throughout the United States. He was also elected to serve two terms as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

“Reeves is a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and a founding member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Miami, Florida. He was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the University of Miami, Barry University and Florida Memorial University.”

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