Civil rights activist and the founder of Dallas' Elite News, William "Bill" Blair Jr, was laid to rest Friday. Funeral services at Concord Church began at 11 a.m.
Blair died April 20 at the age of 92 after a lengthy illness. Blair was a Dallas native who grew to be a voice for the black community for more than six decades. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School before attending Prairie View A&M University. After six months at Prairie View, Blair would enlist in the United States Army where he would become the youngest black sergeant during World War II.
From 1946 to 1951, Blair played professional baseball for the Indianapolis Clowns as well as other Negro League teams. After baseball, Blair would become a member of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and would go on to found the Southwest Sports News, which published scores from black college games across the United States.
Blair would later found The Highlight News, which was renamed The Elite News in 1960. In addition to being a publisher and athlete, Blair fought for civil rights and helped recognize church leaders with the Religious Hall of Fame that began in 2004.
The City of Dallas renamed Rochester Park William "Bill" Blair Jr. Park in 2011.
In June 2012, Blair donated his collection of newspaper materials and Negro League memorabilia to the University of Texas at Arlington.
Memorial, Funeral Service Information
Friday, April 25
Funeral Service at 11 a.m.
6808 Pastor Bailey Drive, Dallas