Houston publisher, icon Lenora “Doll” Carter laid to rest at spirited service

Mourners gathered at a Houston church for a moving homegoing service for newspaper publisher Lenora “Doll” Carter. Photo/NNPA

WASHINGTON – Black publishers around the nation mourned sudden death of one of their own. Houston Forward Times Publisher Lenora “Doll” Carter, treasurer of the board of directors for the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and a former NNPA Publisher of the Year, was found dead April 10 of an apparent heart attack. She was 69.

Her funeral was held Sunday at Holman Street Baptist Church in Houston.

Karen Carter Richards, the youngest of Carter’s two daughters, associate publisher of the paper who has worked alongside her mother for 28 years, said in an interview with the NNPA News Service that she went looking for her mother after she did not answer repeated calls to her cell and home phones on that fateful morning. She found her in her room by the bed. "She was already gone," the daughter said. NNPA First Vice Chair John B. Smith Sr., who worked with Carter during the past four years as chair, also described the dedication of "my good friend and sister in the struggle."  

He said, "Doll was not only a friend toward the advancement of African American achievement. Overall, she personified distinctive grace, character and style as a chaplain for the common good as publisher of The Houston Forward Times."

A publisher, mother, grandmother, and community servant, Carter was also a devoted wife. The Houston Forward Times, founded by Carter’s late husband, Julius Carter, in January 1960 will be commemorating its 50th anniversary in October.  Carter had served as general manager and advertising director until his death in 1971. That year, she became publisher and CEO of the company.

She was a member of Eta Phi Beta Sorority-XI Chapter, National Women of Achievement, National Newspaper Publishers association, Texas Press Association, among a long list of organizations. Her awards include Publisher of the Year (NNPA), NAACP Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award, Black Women in Journalism for Outstanding Accomplishment and Achievement in the Communication Industry (Pioneer Award), to name a few. She was recently awarded the Toombs-Brown Award from Professional Black Women’s Enterprise, Inc., and the "Pace Setter" Award from Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Gamma Phi Sigma Chapter.

She is survived by her husband; daughters, Constance Yvette Carter and Karen Yvonne Carter Richards; and three grandchildren, Jesse, Chelsea, and Nykayla.

Copyright 2010 NNPA.

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