Wife of Black Enterprise founder dies

Posted at 9:15 AM, May 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-26 09:15:25-04

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – Barbara Graves, who helped her husband launch Black Enterprise magazine in 1970, died Friday after a three-year battle with gall bladder cancer, the company said.

Graves, 75, died at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Graves was an elementary school teacher before helping her husband, Earl G. Graves Sr., launch the magazine. She “held every major position, including editorial director, circulation director and chief financial officer.”

The businesswoman also was co-founder of the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, which describes itself as “a professional leadership conference designed especially for executive women of color,” and is a known as a major networking event.

“She served as mentor and guide to several generations of employees, managers and professionals. Above all, she genuinely cared for every member of the Black Enterprise family, and held a special passion for children and young people in particular,” said Graves’ son, Earl Graves Jr., current president and CEO of Black Enterprise.

In addition to her husband, Barbara Graves is survived by other two sons, Johnny Graves and Michael Graves, both of whom have worked as executives at Black Enterprise, according to its website.

CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.