PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - William A. Hilliard, who became the first black reporter at The Oregonian newspaper and later its editor in a pioneering 42-year career, has died at age 89.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Hilliard, who died Monday, was the first black city editor of a major newspaper and later the first black editor of one, and his promotions invariably garnered national attention.
He was once denied a paper-route at The Oregonian because managers said whites did not want blacks delivering their paper. But after serving in the Navy and graduating from college, he was hired as a copy boy at age 25. Through talent and hard work he made his way up from there, becoming executive editor in 1982.
In 1993 he served as president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the first African American to hold the post. He retired in 1994.