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Leon Washington Jr.
*Col. Leon H. Washington Jr. was born on this date in 1907. He was a Black newspaper publisher.
He was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and attended Washburn University. Washington began his career in journalism by working for several newspapers. In 1933, he founded the Sentinel, an African American newspaper in Los Angeles. During this time, Washington married Ruth Brumell, a photographer.
He quickly built a reputation as an activist among the Black community in Los Angeles. Knowing the Sentinel's reach with African American readers, Washington ran the "Don't Spend Where You Can't Work" campaign in the newspaper during the Great Depression to encourage readers to fight for their rights and demand fair treatment. Washington also published reports to shed light on the discrimination and racism against African Americans in Los Angeles. By 1974, it had a circulation of 50,000.
Leon Washington jr. died June 17, 1974, in a Pasadena, California, hospital after a brief illness. He was survived by his wife, who took over as publisher of the newspaper; his mother, Blanche; and two sisters, Juanita Goodman and Barbara Flory. The Colonel Leon H. Washington County Park in the Firestone Park area of Los Angeles is named in his honor.