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Barbara K. Graves, wife of Black Enterprise magazine founder, passes at 74

HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 4/11/2013, 4:21 p.m.
This undated photo provided by her family shows Barbara Kydd Graves, wife of Black Enterprise founder Earl G. Graves Sr. Mrs. Graves, who aided in the growth of the publication and media company, died Friday, May 25, 2012 at Howard University Hospital in Washington after a more than three-year struggle with gall bladder cancer. She was 74. (AP Photo/Graves Family)

Barbara Kydd Graves, the wife of Earl G. Graves Sr., the founder of Black Enterprise magazine, could be counted among those tireless, formidable but often nameless workers at the core of successful businesses; she was this and much more during her 40 years at the publication.

Graves, 74, made her transition last Friday at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She had been struggling valiantly for several years against cancer of the gall bladder.

As NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous observed, "Barbara Graves was truly devoted to the mission of empowering communities of color and promoting economic development. Her contributions to Black Enterprise magazine inspired countless young businessmen and businesswomen of color and helped open doors for so many people. We honor her memory."

From the very inception of the magazine in 1970, Graves stood implacably with her husband, serving as editorial director, circulation director, chief financial officer and other positions.

Those other positions included her unstinting devotion as a matriarch, loving wife, mother and grandmother, said NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. "She dedicated her life to advancing opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. She will be sorely missed," Brock added.

Condolences and warm regards were also extended by Hazel Dukes, NAACP New York State Conference president and National Board of Directors member. Her thoughts and prayers join those of thousands of friends and relatives who held Graves in high esteem.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, to be preceded by a public viewing from 9-10:30 a.m. at Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Earl G. Graves Sr. and family c/o BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011.