Garth C. Reeves Sr., publisher emeritus of The Miami Times and a voice for the aspirations of African Americans in Miami for most of the past century, died Monday, Nov. 25 at the age of 100.
“The Miami Times was the only job publisher emeritus Garth C. Reeves Sr. ever had, aside from serving in the Army during World War II,” according to reports from Miami. “He was proud of that distinction. Reeves’ energy in running the landmark Black-owned paper would impact the lives of countless families in South Florida. He’d found his life’s calling — to serve as a voice for the Black community. He knew no better job.”
According to his biography: “Garth C. Reeves Sr. was born Feb. 12, 1919, in Nassau, Bahamas. His family moved to Miami four months after he was born. His father, Harry Ethelbert Sigismund Reeves, was a partner in The Magic Printing Company and founder of the Miami Times; his mother, a homemaker.”
His daughter, Rachel J. Reeves, became publisher and chief executive officer of the Miami Times in 1994 following the untimely death of her brother, Garth C. Reeves Jr.
After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami in 1936, Reeves enrolled in Florida A&M University, where he earned his B.A. degree in printing in 1940.
Reeves served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942 to 1946 in both the European and Pacific theaters. He then returned to Miami to work under his father who founded the Miami Times newspaper in 1923.
In 1970, Reeves was named publisher and chief executive officer of The Times following the death of his father. He went on to become the first African American to serve on the governing boards of the Miami-Dade Community College, Barry University, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Dade County.
He also served as organizing chairman of the board for National Industrial Bank, the first integrated bank in the state of Florida. During the 1950s, Reeves worked to integrate the local beaches, parks and golf courses.
Reeves served for 10 years as president of the Amalgamated Publishers of New York City, which represents over 100 African American-owned newspapers throughout the United States. He was also elected to serve two terms as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
Reeves was a member of the NAACP, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and a founding member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Miami. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Miami, Barry University and Florida Memorial University.
Look for reflections and photos from our editor, who once served as senior editor of The Miami Times and will attend the homegoing of Reeves, in next week’s edition.