Legendary Publisher of the Chicago Citizen, William Garth, Sr., Dies at 78

Legendary Publisher of the Chicago Citizen, William Garth, Sr., Dies at 78

Mr. William Garth, Sr. was the Chairman of the Chicago Citizen Newspaper Group Inc., Garthco, Inc. and Founder/Chairman of the QBG Foundation, as well as Chairman of the Chatham Business Association. Mr. Garth was the guiding force behind what is known as the largest Black-owned ABC audited newspaper in America.

Having started with the Citizen Newspaper in 1969 as an advertising sales representative under the leadership of former Congressman Gus Savage, he purchased the Chatham Citizen, South End Citizen and Chicago Weekend in 1980. Garth later added the South Suburban and the Hyde Park editions, and founded Garthco Publications, which published PUSH Magazine, a bi-monthly national publication. With Chicago’s population being nearly 50 percent Black, the Citizen has effectively reached this market. Citizen Newspapers have a total combined circulation of 121,000 and a weekly readership of over 400,000. The circulation areas cover Chicago’s South and West sides as well as the South Suburbs.

As a tribute to his business acumen, Garth became the first Black person to be elected President of the Illinois Press Association (IPA). The IPA is the state’s largest newspaper association and the official trade organization for Illinois weekly and daily newspapers. Garth was the second Black person in the nation elected president of a statewide press association. Garth sat on the Board of Government Affairs Committee, of the Illinois Press Association and has served as a board member for more than 15 years. In addition, he was elected a stockholder in the Cook County South Suburban Publishers Association and in 2009, was elected to become Chairman of the Cook County Publishers Association for 2010. His business savvy and knowledge in the publishing industry allowed him to also serve as a board member of the Midwest Black Publishers Association. In December 1998,Garth received the honor of being appointed to Governor-elect George Ryans Transition Team and was later appointed to the Board of Directors for the Illinois Inauguration 1998, Inc.

In 1995, Garth founded the Quentis Bernard Garth (Q.B.G.) Foundation in memory of his youngest son, Quentis B. Garth, of which he is chairman. The Q.B.G. Foundation provides scholarships to the disenfranchised, inner city youths in the Chicagoland area. To date, the Foundation has helped over 49 students and has disbursed over $1million in scholarship awards. A dedicated activist and leader in the business community, Garth maintained memberships and positions with several business organizations. He is the former President of Midwest Region III of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Region III Advertising Representative with the NNPA, Transition Team for IDOT Dan Ryan Project, board member of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a lifetime member of the NAACP and a member of the Chatham Lions Club. Garth received numerous local and national awards and honors. In 2002 before the Winter Olympics that year, Garth carried the torch during the Olympic Torch Relay stop Chicago.