November 25


November 25, 1912 John Herman Henry Sengstacke, newspaper publisher, was born in Savannah, Georgia. As a youngster, Sengstacke worked for the Woodville Times, a newspaper owned by his grandfather. After graduating from Hampton Institute in 1934, Sengstacke became vice president and general manager of The Robert S. Abbott Publishing Company which published the Chicago Defender. In 1940, he took over the company. Amongst many other issues, Sengstacke worked to have African American reporters in the White House, to create jobs in the United States Postal Service for African Americans, and to desegregate the armed forces. He was appointed by President Harry S. Truman to the commission formed to integrate the military. Sengstacke founded the National Newspaper Publishers Association to unify and strengthen African American owned newspapers and served seven terms as president. Sengstacke died May 28, 1997 and was posthumously presented the Presidential Citizens Medal by President William Clinton in 2001.


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