Alex Poinsett, a former editor for EBONY has died, according to a statement released Wednesday by the National Association of Black Journalists, which he co-founded in 1975. He was 89. His daughter P. Mimi Poinsett said on a fundraising site he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Poinsett spent three decades as senior editor for the magazine and went on to be corporate communications manager for Johnson Products Company. He also was a renown author of books including “Black Power Gary Style: The Making of Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher,” and “Walking with Presidents: Louis Martin and the Rise of Political Power.” He received the 1999 University of Michigan Book Award for his work.
Poinsett’s extensive work for EBONY ranged from a profile on a white Tougaloo College student turned civil rights leader in 1963, to the coverage of 17,000 people drawn to the 1977 Festac arts festival in Nigeria to a nearly spot-on 1990 treatise of what that decade would look like for Black America.
Johnson Publishing Company chairman Linda Johnson Rice called Poinsett an “esteemed member of the Ebony family.” She remembered the crucial role he played with the company for many years. “We valued his insight and contributions,” she said. “He will be missed.”
Along with his daughter, Poinsett is survived by a son, Pierre, two grandsons and two great-grandchildren.