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Marjorie Parham
Marjorie Parham, “The Cincinnati Herald” publisher emerita – Photo from The Herald

Marjorie Parham, formally Marjorie Porter, was born in Clermont County and graduated from Batavia High School. She attended Wilberforce University and later chaired the board of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. She also attended the University of Cincinnati and became the second African American Trustee.  

Since 1955, the Cincinnati Herald has been Cincinnati’s premier African American newspaper. Gerald Porter, Marjorie’s husband, started the Herald in 1952, and Marjorie continued as the publisher after he died tragically in 1963. 


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Parham and Parks
Mrs. Parham is shown with famed photographer Gordon Parks – Photo from the Herald

With little publishing experience and overwhelming debts,  Mrs.Parham was determined to continue the Herald’s success with the help of her son, Bill Spillers. She traveled to New York and called at the offices of advertising agencies to secure lucrative national ads, and also reached out to local businesses and readers by making the Herald‘s classified advertising section a convenient place for buyers and sellers. 

An offer from friend, Hartwell Parham, to help her with the accounting led to marriage. As Mrs. Parham, she and her son kept the Herald going for the next several decades. Spillers became the publisher in 1993. Three years later, the paperwas sold to SESH Communications and continues to be one of the few voices in Cincinnati for African Americans.  


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Marjorie was also active in the Urban League, American Red CrossSt. Andrews Episcopal Church and scouting groups. For her many accomplishments, Marjorie Parham has been recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists, inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and named Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Great Living Cincinnatian.   

Today, Mrs. Parham is 102 years old, lives in the Marjorie P. Lee Center and still holds the title of publisher emerita at the Cincinnati Herald. She also has a street named after her, Marjorie Parham Way, in Walnut Hills.

Marjorie Parham Way
Mrs. Marjorie B. Parham surrounded by family and friends as councilmen rename Lincoln Avenue “Marjorie Parham Way” on her 102nd birthday. – Photo from The Herald


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Other African American print publications in Cincinnati include American Catholic Tribune (late 19th century), The Union (1907-1952) Cincinnati’s Colored Citizens (1926), NIP Magazine (1955-1990), Pride Magazine (1968-1978), Applause Magazine (1986), Cincinnati Human Relations Commission Black Directory (1987)SuccessGuide (1993) and Tri-State Talk Magazine (1996-2002). It should be noted that Delilah L Beasley was the first African American journalist to be published regularly in major metropolitan newspaper. 

Other publications of note are the Cincinnati’s Black Peoples: A Chronology and Bibliography (1787-1982)People and Events in the History of Cincinnati’s Negroes (1800-1969)Negro Opportunities in Cincinnati (1920s and 1930s), Negro Business Directory (1940) and The Urban League Guild Cincinnati Black Business Directory (1969 and 1970).  



Business | African American Resources | Cincinnati History Library and Archives ( 
19th Century Black Cincinnatians you should know | Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library ( 
19th Century Black Cincinnatians you should know | Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library ( 
Parham, Marjorie B. | 


The First 28, graciously sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, celebrates Black Cincinnatians who were the first in their fields. Each day during Black History Month, we will celebrate athletes, artists, business leaders, civil rights activists, educators, physicians and politicians.


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