First Black Editor of ‘Delta Democrat Times’ Dies at 61

By: E&P Staff

(AP)A memorial service will be held Saturday in Englewood, N.J., for Donald V. Adderton, who was the first black editor of the Delta Democrat Times in Greenville, Miss.

The Delta Democrat Times reports that Adderton died Saturday after a long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 61.

Adderton grew up in Englewood, N.J., and was a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. He began his career as an editor and reporter at United Press International in Chicago.

Adderton also worked at CBS News, the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Jet magazine, the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News and the Sun Herald in Gulfport, Miss.

Adderton was named editor of the Delta Democrat Times in May 2000.

He was criticized by some black leaders in Mississippi because he opposed removing the Confederate battle emblem from the corner of the state flag. In 2001, state residents voted to keep the emblem, but opponents said the Confederate emblem was a symbol of the South’s bigoted past.

“In a poor state like Mississippi, it is a waste of taxpayer money to spend three million dollars on a flag referendum,” Adderton wrote in an editorial. “If we removed the Confederate emblem from the state flag, then how do we expunge the hatred in the hearts of those who champion its removal?”

Adderton left the Delta Democrat Times in 2004 to become assistant managing editor at the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American.

In 2005, he left the Hattiesburg newspaper to become an assistant city editor and columnist for the Herald News in Passaic, N.J.

Survivors include several cousins.

The memorial service is at 1 p.m. at Nesbitt Funeral Home in Englewood, N.J.

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