By Todd M. Adams
August 9, 2019
MIAMI — Former APSE President Garry D. Howard was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame on Friday during a ceremony at the JW Marriott Turnberry Resort and Spa.
Howard was APSE’s first black president when he was elected in 2009. He is currently Director of Corporate Initiatives at American City Business Journals. He graduated Lehigh University in 1977 and started his journalism career at the Trenton Times as a sports reporter.
Among other jobs, he was deputy sports editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, sports editor at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Editor-In-Chief of The Sporting News.
“My true passion was always sports,” Howard said during an acceptance speech that detailed his career path, including how it really took off while he was at the Inquirer and was promoted from copy editor to assistant sports editor to deputy sports editor to Olympics bureau chief. “And after being virtually invisible to the journalism powers that be, I wanted to become the power that be — just for a chance that someone with my talents would be seen for his brilliance and not the color of his skin.”
While in Philadelphia, Howard realized that his biggest goal — to be a sports editor — was finally within reach.
“There was this little problem,” he said during the speech. “There was not one black sports editor at a major newspaper in the entire country. Not one! That was not lost on (Sentinel Editor) Marty Kaiser.
“Marty Kaiser made it possible. Why? Because he truly saw me. I was no longer invisible. And with that power to be I was able to make superstars in this business who looked like me.”
In 2009, Howard was awarded the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award by the NABJ Sports Task Force in recognition of his commitment to sports journalism. He is a member of the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame. Among his accomplishments for APSE was the establishment of the Red Smith Hall of Fame in Indianapolis.
He finished his speech on Friday with a message to the other black journalists in the room.
“I’ve always believed I was the master of my fate — the captain of my soul,” he said. “I’m here to tell you, you can be too.”God bless you all, and God bless NABJ for showing me that I was never, never alone.”