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William Alexander Scott II
*William Alexander Scott II was born on this date in 1902. He was a Black businessman and newspaper publisher.
Born in Edwards, Mississippi. Scott was the 4th child of nine children. His father, the Rev. Dr. William A. Scott Sr., was a Christian Church minister and a printer. His mother, Emmeline Southall Scott, was active in the church in the printing business and helped her husband print church bulletins distributed throughout Mississippi.
Young Scott was educated at Morehouse College. Around World War I, he began publishing a business directory in Atlanta. He then became the founder of the Atlanta Daily World newspaper. The paper also became a tool Scott used to redress social injustices, such as raising funds for the nine Black youths falsely accused of raping white girls in the 1930s Scottsboro Boys trials. The paper also sought and received national advertisers such as Coca-Cola at a time when such advertising was crucial to the growth of Black-owned publishing.
Tragically, as Scott was climbing toward the pinnacle of his business career, his life was cut short by an assailant's bullet at his home in 1934. No one was ever convicted of his murder. His work was carried on by his younger brother, Cornelius Adolphus Scott, who ran the publishing business for 63 years.