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Fri, 06.10.1859

Edward C. Cooper, Journalist born

Edward Cooper

*Edward E. Cooper was born on this date in 1859.  He was a Black newspaper publisher.  

Edward Elder Cooper was born into slavery in Duval County, Florida; his mother was Sallie Porter, born in 1830.  As a youth, he and his family moved north for better opportunities, and he went to high school in Indianapolis, Indiana. There, the only Black student in a class of 65, he was the valedictorian.  In 1864, he married Tena Cooper, and they had no children. 

In 1882, he started working at the US Railway Mail Service, where he became the only black man being placed in charge of a corps of white clerks. In 1883, while employed at the US Railway Mail Service, he founded a newspaper publication, The Colored World.  

This was his very first publication; however, he had to abruptly end it when there were changes in his railway run.  Three years later, he left the US Railway Mail Service and worked with The Indianapolis World, a newspaper; with him on board, they had tremendous success. It is evident that journalism was exactly what Cooper wanted to do as a career choice. He quit The Indianapolis World to launch his paper once again, and this paper would be for Blacks.  

Cooper starting in July 1888, published the Indianapolis Freeman, then sold it in 1892.  The Freeman news publication became extremely popular and put Cooper on the map in journalism.  Cooper then launched The Colored American in Washington, D.C., starting in 1893. In 1900, they rented a home in Washington, D.C., where they lived.  Cooper allied the newspaper with Booker T. Washington, Mary Church Terrell, and generally with the Republican Party. The newspaper fell into debt and shut down in 1904.  Edward Cooper died at the age of 49 on July 9, 1908.  

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