6/21/2017, noon | Updated on 6/21/2017, noon
During the 2017 IPA Convention, the Chicago Citizen’s Former Publisher William “Bill” Garth Sr., who passed away on Sept. 23, ...
William Garth and Darrell Garth


By Christopher Shuttlesworth

The Illinois Press Association held its 2017 IPA convention

on June 7-9, 2017, where they honored long-time members

and news-industry pioneers who have impacted lives in

their respective communities and through their work in various national organizations at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois.

“The IPA, which was founded in 1865 as an organization for Illinois publishers, has evolved into more than 450 newspapers,

making it the largest state newspaper association in the country,” according to the Illinoispress.org. The Board of Directors determines the legislative and business practices that are carried out by the IPA’s full time staff of 15 employees.

During the 2017 IPA Convention, the Chicago Citizen’s Former Publisher William “Bill” Garth Sr., who passed away on Sept. 23, 2016, was honored for his life-long commitment in the news industry and for his dedicated work as a board member and former

President of IPA.

Susan J. Walker, who is the General Manager of the Hyde Park Herald, presented the Distinguished Service Award on June 8,

2017, to the current Chicago Citizen Publisher Darrell Garth, the son of “Bill” Garth.

The Citizen Weekly newspaper, was founded by the late Illinois Congressman Augustus Alexander “Gus” Savage, during the height of the Civil Rights era in 1965,” according to the thechicagocitizen.com.

Walker said “Bill” Garth worked for the Citizen newspaper as an advertising salesman but then purchased the paper from Savage in


“From there, he started the South Suburban Citizen in 1984 and the Hyde Park Citizen newspaper in 1987,” she said. “Garth led the Citizen newspaper to become the largest African American owned ABC audited newspaper in the mid-west.”

The Citizen grew to a circulation of 121,000 and a readership over 400,000. With

Garth as the publisher of the Citizen, he made sure to keep the city of Chicago informed and contributed to the growth of local communities. Walker said, Garth wanted to see young African

Americans succeed in life and become leaders in the world and he did everything to try

to see it through.

[Garth] started the QBG Foundation named after his son Quentis Garth, to help children of color succeed and Garth even dispersed over a million dollars in scholarships for children,” she said. “He was also chair of the Chatham Business Association, Board member of the Rainbow

PUSH Coalition, lifetime member of the NAACP and member of the Chatham Alliance club.

In 2002, Garth was asked to turn the torch in Chicago during the Olympic

Torch Relay and in 2010 an honorary street was named after Bill Garth.

Garth impacted people not only in the African American community, but through the newspaper industry as well. Walker said Garth became the first African American to be elected President on the Illinois Press Association and the second African American in the

nation elected President of a statewide Press Association. She said he also served on

IPA’s Government Relations Board for more than 15 years, along with being a member

of the Cook County Suburban Publishers and member of the National Newspaper Publisher


“His son, Darrell and daughter-in-law Janice Garth have picked up the torched

and are continuing his legacy,” Walker said. “[But] Bill Garth continues to be greatly missed.”

His son, Darrell Garth expressed his gratitude for the Distinguished Service Award by the IPA Board and news community. “On behalf of the Garth family and the Citizen

newspaper family, we would like To say thank you and this is truly a great honor,” said


The Chicago Citizen Newspaper Group Inc., currently publishes five newspapers including the Chatham Citizen, the Southend Citizen, the Weekend Citizen as well as the Hyde Park and South Suburban Citizen Newspapers. The newspapers are distributed every Wednesday throughout the Chicagoland area including areas in the South Suburbs.