New Pittsburgh Courier’s Legacy

Celebrating Black excellence

Capturing a rich newspaper legacy in the above photos, from left, are: New Pittsburgh Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss, second from left, receiving the 2018 National Newspaper Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award; former Courier managing editor, the late Ulish Carter, working at his typewriter; and Doss celebrating with past Men of Excellence Legacy Award recipients, from left, Judge Justin Johnson, Judge Livingstone Johnson and Eric W. Springer, Esq.

Established in 1907 by Edward Harleston, a guard in the H.J. Heinz food-packing plant, the New Pittsburgh Courier stands as one of the nation’s foremost platforms for celebrating and recognizing outstanding achievements within the African American community.

At the core of the paper’s commitment to celebrating Black excellence are its annual FAB 40 Under 40 Awards, Women of Excellence Awards, and Men of Excellence Awards. These prestigious accolades have become a cornerstone of the newspaper’s mission to acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the remarkable contributions of Black professionals in the greater Pittsburgh region.

The FAB 40 Under 40 Awards serve as a spotlight on the rising stars within the community, individuals who, despite their youth, have demonstrated exceptional vision, leadership, and a commitment to community service. These honorees represent the next generation of trailblazers, breaking the mold in their respective fields and inspiring others to reach new heights.

Rod Doss discusses the nearly 120-year-old
New Pittsburgh Courier, which he serves
as editor and publisher.

The Women of Excellence Awards and Men of Excellence Awards, two distinguished categories, shine a light on those who exemplify extraordinary stature, poise, and integrity. These are individuals who have not only achieved exceptional success in their professions but have also made a lasting impact on the community through their unwavering commitment to positive change.

The roots of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s commitment to uplifting Black voices and celebrating achievements trace back to the transformative leadership of attorney Robert Lee Vann. Taking the reins as the newspaper’s editor and publisher, treasurer, and legal counsel in 1910, Vann propelled the Courier, then known as the Pittsburgh Courier, to national prominence. Witnessing its growth into the largest and most influential Black newspaper in the nation during his lifetime, Vann laid the foundation for the newspaper’s enduring commitment to excellence.

In 1966, John H. Sengstacke’s acquired the publication renamed the New Pittsburgh Courier. As part of Sengstacke Newspapers, now Real Times Media, the Courier found itself in esteemed company alongside publications like the Chicago Defender, Michigan Chronicle, Atlanta Tribune, and Atlanta Daily World.

Today, the New Pittsburgh Courier remains a trusted vehicle for Black expression, continuing to publish an award-winning edition every Wednesday. Its commitment to celebrating Black excellence, however, extends far beyond the ink and paper – it resonates through the community, inspiring generations to come.