Profile: Robert C. Maynard (1937-1993)

Robert Clyve Maynard was an American journalist, newspaper publisher and editor, former owner of The Oakland Tribune, and co-founder of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in Oakland, California.


Early years

Maynard was one of six children to Samuel C. Maynard and Robertine Isola Greaves, both immigrants from Barbados. At 16 years of age, he dropped out of Brooklyn High School to pursue his passion for writing. Maynard became friends with influential New York writers James Baldwin and Langston Hughes and later acknowledged Martin Luther King, Jr. as a hero.


Maynard’s career in journalism began in 1961 at the York Gazette & Daily in York, Pennsylvania. In 1965, he received a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University and joined the editorial staff of the Washington Post the following year.

In 1979, Maynard took over as editor of The Oakland Tribune and became the first African American to own a major metropolitan newspaper after purchasing the paper four years later. He is widely recognized for turning around the then-struggling newspaper and transforming it into a 1990 Pulitzer Prize-winning journal.

Maynard greatly valued community involvement. He taught at local high schools and frequently attended community forums. His positive, proactive outlook helped many in need, including children of cocaine-addicted mothers and earthquake and firestorm victims. Maynard used the outreach of his newspaper to better the community by pushing for improved schools, trauma care centers, and economic development.The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education

In 1977, Maynard co-founded the Institute for Journalism Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to training journalists of color and providing accurate representation of minorities in the news media. For more than thirty years, the Institute has trained over 1,000 journalists and editors from multicultural backgrounds across the United States.

One thought on “Profile: Robert C. Maynard (1937-1993)

  1. Chakaia Booker:
    2000 Whitney Biennial sculpture was titled, “IT’S SO HARD TO BE GREEN”
    (please see Whitney Museum of American Art’s online archives, and view their 2000 Biennial catalog). Thank You for recognizing Chakaia Booker’s work and career!


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