Earl Graves Sr., the founder and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine and an iconic entrepreneur in the African American business community, died Sunday after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer's disease. Graves Sr. was 85.
Graves' son, Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., confirmed his father's passing in a post on Twitter.
"I loved and admired this giant of a man, and am blessed to be his namesake," said Graves Jr. on Twitter.
Born in 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, Graves graduated from a Morgan State University with a B.A. in economics, served two years as an officer in the Army, and held jobs in law enforcement and real estate. In 1965, he joined the staff of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy as his administrative assistant. According to Black Enterprise when Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, Graves decided to start a publication that would provide African Americans with the pathway to go into entrepreneurship.