Black Enterprise Founder Earl Graves Sr. died on Monday evening. He was 85.

A trailblazing icon in the print magazine business, Graves was widely considered to be the ultimate champion of black business, launching Black Enterprise in 1970. The publication chronicled the rise of black entrepreneurs and provided the tools for African Americans to succeed in the business mainstream.

“It is with profound sadness that we share news of the passing of Black Enterprise Founder Earl G. Graves Sr.,” Black Enterprise said Tuesday in a tweet. “We will evermore celebrate his life and legacy.”


Graves Sr. released his book “How to Succeed in Business Without Being White” in 1988.  In 1999, he received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal, the highest achievement for African Americans and was inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2007.