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Oral history interview with William Rowe, 1972.

Creator: Rowe, William
Project: Black Journalists Oral History Collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 39 pages Sound recording: 1 sound cassette
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

William L. "Billy" Rowe (1914-1997) worked as a photographer, theater editor, and sports editor for the New York News. His column "Billy Rowe's Notebook" ran in the Pittsburgh Courier from 1936 to 1951. Rowe served as the first black Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD from 1951 to 1953 and later managed Joe Louis' public relations. Rowe photographed theater performances and sports events. He served overseas during World War II.

Scope and Contents

In this 1972 interview conducted by Henry La Brie III, William L. Rowe outlines how he began his career in journalism as an editor and a photographer. He describes how he reached the decision to not work for the white press, how success is measured differently for black people, how key figures affected the Pittsburgh Courier, and how he wrote his newspaper column while abroad. Rowe describes his experiences photographing celebrities in Harlem and as a photographer during World War II. He also discusses his predictions on the future of the black press and the sophistication of the black press at the time of the interview.


Using this collection

Columbia Center for Oral History

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Columbia Center for Oral History