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John Jacob Oliver Oral History Interview

Business

John Jacob “Jake” Oliver Jr., great-grandson of founder John H. Murphy Sr., served as publisher and CEO of the Afro-American Newspapers from 1982 to 2018. In this oral history interview conducted in 2017, Oliver discusses his experiences growing up in the Murphy family and his childhood in Baltimore, where he personally integrated John E. Howard elementary school. He talks about attending the University of Maryland during the 1960s and his decision to transfer to Fisk University, a historically Black college in Nashville, Tennessee. He recounts his early career as an attorney and his return to the family business at the AFRO in the early 1980s, where he instituted changes to bring the newspaper into the computer age.