Thursday, May 16, 2024

African American media trailblazer, Ohio and PA Native passes away at age 86…

December 21, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

( NEW YORK, NY— Dale Raymond Wright – devoted and beloved parent, journalist, author, editor, entrepreneur, sportsman, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and community advocate passed away in the Bronx, New York on December 13, 2009. He was 86 years old and had been in ill health for several years.

Dale Raymond Wright

Dale, son of Mildred Elaine Smith Wright and George William Wright, was born on July 19, 1923 in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. He moved with his family to Canton, Ohio as a teenager, graduating from Canton’s McKinley High School. A US Marine Corps veteran, he proudly served his country during World War II in the Central Pacific Theater and was honorably discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant. An enterprising and ambitious young man, he took full advantage of the GI Bill, completing undergraduate course work at Howard University, and graduating with Honors in 1950 from Ohio State University’s prestigious Columbus School of Journalism. Wright undertook post graduate courses in business operations, mass communications, information and nonprofit management at Columbia University, New York University, and the State University of New York.

In 1955, Dale Wright married Dolores Virginia Grigsby, a renowned model, curator, socialite, and community activist. The couple settled in the Riverdale section of the Bronx in 1964. They divorced in the mid-70’s but remained steadfast friends who proudly shared parenting responsibilities throughout their lifetimes. He split his time and home/business bases in Riverdale, Manhattan and Long Island to remain close to his children.

Services are scheduled for Benta’s Funeral Home, 630 St. Nicholas Ave., (W. 141st St.) in New York City on December 19, 2009, at noon.

Dale was an extraordinary combination of journalist, entrepreneur and community advocate. For 20 years, he owned and operated “Dale Wright Associates” – a business specifically designed to serve the public relations needs of emerging and established New York area Black businesses. He distinguished himself for many years in the field of organizational communications and government relations, serving as the Press Secretary and Public Relations Director to New York political luminaries, including Mayor Edward I. Koch, Senator Jacob K. Javits, and Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. As the Associate Editor of Ebony and Jet Magazine, Dale provided office oversight, conceived, planned, wrote and edited news stories and feature articles. He also provided leadership to the New York State Drug Abuse Control Commission, the Division of Human Rights, and the Office of Equal Opportunity. He was a Senior Account Executive at Hill and Knowlton’s Publicity and Marketing Division, one of the nation’s largest public relations agencies.

As an internationally celebrated journalist and Professor, Dale’s awards included the Heywood Broun Memorial for most distinguished reporting in the U.S. and Canada, the Paul Tobenkin Memorial for best news writing in the U.S. on racial intolerance and bigotry, the Society of the Silurian’s Award for Public Service, the Gentry Award for Outstanding Achievement, and NAACP’s Award for Best News Writing. His newspaper series was expanded into a book, They Harvest Despair: The Migrant Farm Worker. As an investigative reporter for the New York World Telegram and Sun, his 10-part undercover investigative report series on the conditions of migrant farm workers from Long Island to Florida was among runner-up Pulitzer Prize in 1962. Wright worked tirelessly as a member and leader of a host of civic and social organizations such as the National Association of Black Journalists, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, and Sigma Delta Chi’s Society of Professional Journalists, the New York Reporters Association, the Newspaper Guild of New York, the New York Urban League, and the Coalition of 100 Black Men.

Dale’s watershed account, called “The Forgotten People” on the misery of migrant farm workers plight and his first hand experience as a ‘stoop worker’ created a furor when they appeared in the New York World Telegram and Sun. Twice reprinted in the Congressional Record, and distributed widely by social service agencies interested in improving the conditions of migrant workers, his articles sparked corrective legislative action taken by the states of New Jersey and New York.

An avid traveler, Dale’s ports of call included Kenya, Israel, Guam, Saipan, France, Mexico, and Monte Carlo.

Dale Raymond Wright is honored on this day by his two devoted adult children, Amilcar K Metrit, (born Dale Raymond Wright Jr)., an Information Technology Unit Project Leader and Kimberly Elaine Wright-King, a Diplomat with the U.S. State Department, and their spouses, Mildred (Diva) Guzman-Metrit and Alton J. King. Dale is well remembered by the Wright, Grigsby, Guzman, King, Rooks, and Wilson families, cousins Deborah and Dottie Wright of Brooklyn, NY; Danielle Wright of Chicago; Shirley and Judith Chavis of Columbus, Ohio; many loved ones in Monongahela, PA; and a host of family and friends.

NEWS FROM: Kimberly Wright-King, LMSW
158-18 Riverside Dr W Ste 6C
New York, NY 10032
Tel: 1-917-334-2339/CELL

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