Excerpts from obituary by Robert Fikes
The widely revered African American publisher Carlton Benjamin Goodlett was born in Chipley, Florida on July 23, 1914. He finished his bachelor’s degree in 1935 at Howard University where he was president of the student body and editor of the student newspaper. He earned a Ph.D. in child psychology at the University of California at Berkeley in 1938. Goodlett taught for a year a West Virginia State College before pursuing his M.D. degree at Meharry Medical College, obtained in 1944. He commenced his 38-year career as a family physician in San Francisco in 1945 but in 1948 he became the joint publisher of the Reporter Publishing Company which eventually controlled several black weekly newspapers. As both publisher and editor of the flagship Sun-Reporter Goodlett had a vehicle to press for the social and economic betterment of African Americans in the Bay Area. A crusading newspaper under his direction, the Sun-Reporter’s motto was, “That no good cause shall lack a champion, evil shall not thrive unopposed.”
By 1951 Goodlett was sole owner of the Reporter Publishing Company and his prominence was evident as he ascended to the presidency/chairmanship of the San Francisco NAACP, the National Black United Fund, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, California Black Leadership Conference, and the William L. Patterson Foundation. He also served on the numerous boards including that of Morehouse Medical College and the World Peace Council. Goodlett died of Parkinson’s disease in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on January 25, 1997.
Obituary. New York Times (2 February 1997), p. 38; Who’s Who Among African Americans (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1994).