Stick with those who stick with you.
William "Bill" Blair, Jr. | Founder, 1921-2014
Negro League Hall of Famer Baseball player and newspaper publisher Dr. William Blair, Jr., was born on October 17, 1921. A former Negro League baseball player turned newspaper publisher, Dr. Blair was a community voice in Dallas for over sixty years. Dr. Blair attended Booker T. Washington High School and Prairie View A&M University. After his first year at Prairie View A&M, Dr. Blair enlisted in the United States Army and became the youngest first sergeant Black or White in the United States Army during World War II.
Dr. Blair was inducted in the Negro League Baseball Museum Hall of Fame located in Kansas City, Missouri, 2005. During his time in the Negro League, he pitched from 1946 to 1951 for the Indianapolis Clowns and other Negro League baseball teams. His baseball career included pitching a no-hitter in the Denver Post Tournament, playing with the late Winfield Welch, Jesse “Hoss” Walker, and Buster Haywood, and touring with Jesse Owens and the Harlem Globetrotters. Dr. Blair was instrumental in the development of the African American Museum’s Texas Sports Hall of Fame and served on its advisory board. Dr. Blair was a “Special Draftee” of the Houston Astros in 2008. This Special Draft was held by Major League Baseball to honor Living Legends that played in the Negro League. The home team in which they lived selected players. Dr. Blair was drafted by the Houston Astros because Country Singer Charlie Pride who also played in the Negro is part owner of the Texas Rangers, was drafted by them, so Dr. Blair was drafted by the other MLB Texas team the Houston Astros.
He was inducted in 1996 as a member of its inaugural class. Dr. Blair founded the Highlight News (1947-1957). He also later founded the Southwest Sports News, a newspaper that specialized in publishing scores from Black college games throughout the United States. The paper was renamed The Elite News in 1960. One of the most influential Black newspapers in the Dallas Fort Worth area, Elite News created “The Elite News Awards Night,” which was the first African American awards ceremony in Dallas when it began in 1975. Dr. Blair had been a civil rights activist for more than six decades.
In 1986, Dr. Blair launched the first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Parade, and this parade is now an institution in Dallas. Dr. Blair was a major force in local and state politics. In politics he was known to many as a “King Maker”. Dr. Blair was also an advocate for the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. In 2004, he founded the Religious Hall of Fame to honor African American ministers. Dr. Blair lived in Dallas, Texas with Mozelle, his wife of seventy-three years. All of his children were involved in the family business. Dr. Blair passed away on April 20, 2014 at age 92.
For more information and interviews with Dr. Blair, you can visit The History Makers Homepage at www.thehistorymakers.org.
Meet the Team
Debra Blair Abron
Debra Blair Abron gained her vast knowledge of media and publishing from her father, the late Dr. William Blair, Jr. who was the Founder and Publisher, of the Elite News, established in 1970. For over 40 years she worked alongside her father, and with much ambition, Mrs. Abron worked hard and became publisher. She was also a radio personality at KDFT 540, JOY 910 and KKDA 730, where she used the communication forum to help her community and set new standards in the city for African Americans and others. During her time in radio, many of her listeners knew her for communicating “Black Facts” Her motto: “No man is an island” is widely known. Her favorite Bible scripture is Jeremiah 29:11.
Mrs. Abron has also made it a priority to give back to the community through her volunteer efforts. She has served on several boards to create positive change in her community. Some of the boards she has served on which includes: The Dallas Public School System, The Dallas Black Dance Theater Board of Directors, Parkland Advisory, Bluitt-Flowers Satellite Clinic, El Centro College Advisory Board and Camp Fire USA local member.
A major accomplishment in her career was her appointment as Executive Director of the Elite News Religious Hall of Fame, established in 1999 in Dallas, Texas. The Elite News Religious Hall of Fame is the only organization of its kind, in the world, honoring ministers that positively influences the quality of life for others in their church and community.
Numerous honors and awards have been bestowed upon Mrs. Abron, one of which is being elected to Altrusa International Inc. Election to Altrusa is an evidence of confidence which imposes upon the recipient the obligation to strive to be true to the highest standards of life in her personal and business relations. Throughout her life, Mrs. Abron has been a part of many organizations. Girl Scouts USA, as a Level Brownie, National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Succeeding in Sisterhood (SIS), to name a few.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Mrs. Abron was a member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Dallas, Texas for more than 50 years, where she also served on the Stewardess Board. Currently, she is a member of Color Blind Ministry Church in Como, Texas, where she is an active member and Ambassador for Christ and is a Deaconess, Corresponding Secretary and the Founder and organizer for Women of Wisdom at Color Blind Ministry Church.
Mrs. Abron’s greatest accomplishments is her commitment to her family. She currently lives in Campbell, Texas with her husband Vernon. She is a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Kimberley bLAIR pLEASANT
Kimberley Blair Pleasant who was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, has been a columnist for over 20 years. She was first given the opportunity, as a writer by her late Uncle Jordan “Randy” Blair, publisher of the Elite Newspaper in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of Texas Southern University and the University of Houston, Mrs. Pleasant has been an educator for 25 years in Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land Texas. She is also a published poet. Her greatest joy in life is being with her family. Mrs. Pleasant currently resides in Sugar Land, Texas with her husband Alonzo and two children, Madison and AJ.