Thursday, January 26, 2023
Garth C. Reeves Sr., Retired Miami Times Publisher and Black Press Pioneer, Dies
By Erick Johnson, Chicagor Crusader/NNPA Newswire
Published December 5, 2019


Garth C. Reeves Sr. (Courtesy Photo)

Garth C. Reeves, Sr., The Miami Times’ retired publisher who became the enduring patriarch of a family newspaper dynasty after decades of fighting the political establishment and while guiding the black community through the city’s racial problems, died on Monday, November 25. He was 100.

Reeves was born February 12, 1919 in Nassau, Bahamas. That same year, Reeves’ father, Harry Ethelbert Sigismund Reeves, moved to Miami where he founded the Magic Printing Company in Overtown, the city’s historic black, once-thriving neighborhood near downtown. Harry Ethelbert Sigismund Reeves in 1920 founded the Miami Sun, which closed because of a paper shortage during World War I. In 1923, The Miami Times was founded. Reeves was just four years old.

In 1940, Reeves graduated from Florida A&M University, a major, historically black school in Tallahassee, FL. In 1942, Reeves was drafted to serve in the Army during World War II. After completing his service in 1946, Reeves returned to The Miami Times.


Reeves, as the publisher of The Miami Times, was just as fierce. It was the only job Reeves would have throughout his life. He worked his way up the ranks as columnist, reporter, managing editor, and editor. When Reeves’ father died in 1970, Reeves became the publisher.

Today, The Miami Times is the oldest and largest black newspaper in the Southeast. For the past two years it has been named Best Black Newspaper by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), which represents over 200 black newspapers across the country. In 2011, NNPA named Reeves Publisher of the Year. In 2017, Reeves was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.

In 2017, Miami recognized Reeves with an honorary street sign at 6 Street and NW 2 Avenue near the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida where he was a board member.

Reeves was 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.

Reeves served for 10 years as president of the Amalgamated Publishers Inc. in New York City, which represented 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.


He retired in 1994 and assumed the role of publisher emeritus but Reeves remained active as a prominent leader in the black community.

Reeves outlived both of his children. In 1982, Reeves’ son, Garth C. Reeves, Jr., died of colon cancer when just 30 years old. This past September, Reeves’ daughter, Rachel died at 68. His grandson, Garth Basil Reeves now heads the family newspaper dynasty at just 29.

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Categories: Business | Celebration of Life | National | News | News (Business)
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