Earl G. Graves Sr. was a pioneer in chronicling and celebrating the achievements of African-Americans throughout his lifetime and most notably known for founding Black Enterprise, the first black-owned magazine company that focused on black entrepreneurs in 1970.
Graves died Monday night at the age of 85.
Graves’ son, the current President & CEO of Black Enterprise, Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr. shared the news on social media via Twitter, citing his father as a “giant of a man.”
In a tweet that read: “At 9:22 pm this evening, April 6, my Father and Hero Earl Graves Sr., the Founder of Black Enterprise, passed away quietly after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. I loved and admired this giant of a man, and am blessed to be his namesake. LOVE YOU DAD!”
It is with profound sadness that we share news of the passing of Black Enterprise Founder Earl G. Graves Sr. earlier this evening, April 6, at the age of 85. We will evermore celebrate his life and legacy, in this, our 50th Anniversary Year, and beyond. pic.twitter.com/N7aall81gb
— Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) April 7, 2020
Graves acute business acumen led him to an extensive portfolio of achievement and honors including his New York Times best-seller, “How to Succeed in Business Without Being White, being named one of the 50 most powerful and influential African Americans in corporate America by Fortune magazine and the Spingarn Medal, the NAACP’s most prestigious award in 1999.
Additionally, Graves an alumnus of HBCU’s Morgan State University was honored in name by University’s business school, the “Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management.”
Graves is survived by his three sons he had with his wife of 37 years, Barbara Kydd Graves, who preceded him in death in 2012.