Waverly L. Easley is the former president and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune. He was first introduced to the newspaper industry
through his mentor, the late publisher Louis Austin of the Black-owned
and operated Carolina Times in Durham, N.C. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, Easley spent 35 years at the Tribune, working his
way up the ranks at America’s oldest continuously published
African-American newspaper. While at the Tribune, he served as business
manager, controller, executive vice-president, general manger and for
the last 10 years was the paper’s seventh president and chief executive
officer from 1979 to 1989.
life, Easley led and served on several boards including being an
original founder and board member of the Philadelphia Martin Luther King
Jr. Association, past chairman and board member of the Philadelphia
Tribune Charities, board member for the National Conference of Christian
Jews and life member and past president of the Zeta Omicron Lambda
Chapter of the Alphi Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
on March 18, 1925, Easley was the fifth of six children. In 1943 he
graduated from John M. Langston High School in Danville, Va., then
served in the armed forces in World War II, and received the Purple
Heart for his heroism on the battlefield. Upon his discharge from
the military, Easley attended the Hampton Institute, now known as
Hampton University, and graduated from the college in 1950, earning a
degree in business management. While in undergraduate school, Easley
married his wife, the former Ruth Coles of Danville, Va. In 1951 Easley
continued his education, earning his master’s degree in business
administration from Penn State University.
After completing his
education, Easley worked at the North Carolina Board of Education as the
first distributive education and diversified office practice department
head at Hillside High School in Durham. During his role in this
capacity, Easley fought biased hiring practices, low wages and meager
managerial positions for minorities as he tried to place students as
interns in the corporate sector.
Some of Easley’s past
affiliations include: the Penn State University Board of Directors for
the College of Education, the Philadelphia OIC, Philadelphia Commission
on Aging, Philadelphia Boys Scouts of America and the Dr. Ruth Hayre
Scholarship Fund. He’s won numerous awards including the Man of the Year
Award from the Zeta Omicron Lambda Chapter of the Alphas, the NAACP
Leadership Award, the Dr. Ruth W. Hayre Scholarship Fund Achievement
Award and the Edyth Ingraham Award from the Omega Omega Chapter of the
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Easley is survived by: his wife of 68 years, Ruth; daughters Raquel and Wyvetta; sister Olga; and nieces and nephews.