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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

ALEXANDER, WILLIAM HARRY - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

ALEXANDER, WILLIAM HARRY (10 Nov. 1916-24 Aug. 1988) served as president and co-publisher of the CLEVELAND CALL & POST (1981-1988) and presided over the board of the REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (RTA, 1979-84). A Washington, D.C. native, son of William and Mary Alexander, he came to Cleveland in 1935 to work single-handedly as the circulation department for the Call and Post, then a new weekly newspaper, directed towards and run by AFRICAN AMERICANS. He claimed to have delivered papers to distributors by streetcar. By 1979, he was the growing paper's business manager and corporate secretary. Under Alexander's presidency, the Call and Post expanded to Dayton, Youngstown, Warren and Akron; it became known for mentoring other black newspaper workers.

Alexander was appointed to the RTA board in 1975 and made vice-president in 1976. As board president, he was a controversial figure, condemning the media and holding closed-door meetings. In 1981 he charged the RTA with excluding African American firms in the awarding of contracts. He continued to serve on the board after his presidency (1984-1987); he was next appointed to the board of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

Alexander was married twice. His first marriage was in 1942 to Marion Mills; they divorced in 1965. They had 3 children: Carlos, Anthony, Marilyn. His second marriage was to Ethel Stewart. He died in SAINT LUKES MEDICAL CENTER of a heart attack and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery.

Last Modified: 11 Jul 1997 11:32:05 AM

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