Raymond Boone Sr., newspaper publisher, honored at his funeral

Miami Times staff report | 6/12/2014, 9 a.m.

Community leaders and colleagues remembered Richmond (VA) Free Press editor and publisher Raymond H. Boone Sr. at his funeral on Tuesday at New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Chesterfield, Va.

Boone, the colorful, principled and feisty founder of the Black weekly paper, died Tuesday, June 3 at his Richmond home after battling pancreatic cancer, his wife, Jean Boone said. He was 76.

Boone had a rich history with the Black press and taught journalism at Howard University for nearly nine years


Raymond H. Boone Sr.

before founding the Free Press in 1992.

Prior to joining the Howard faculty, Boone was editor and vice president of the Baltimore-based Afro-American Newspaper Group. Time magazine has credited him with bringing ‘sophistication and verve’ to the Black press. He also was a reporter for the Norfolk Journal and Guide. He also has daily newspaper experience, having worked as a reporter for the Quincy (Mass.) Patriot-Ledger and the Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald.

The Virginia native took seriously his way of speaking truth to power.

In 2011, Boone allowed ‘Occupy Richmond’ protesters to camp in his yard next door to the mayor’s house. He was slapped with a zoning-violation notice, but Boone ignored it, saying, “It’s vague, it’s contradictory, it’s counterproductive.”

Boone will be remembered for using high moral standards and ethics when reporting and writing news stories.

When his colleagues in the National Newspaper Publishers Association took a government-sponsored trip in January to Morocco, Boone broke with those who denounced this columnist for reporting on the ethical issues involved.

Boone said that the Free Press pays for tickets to local NAACP events. Even when former President Bill Clinton held a meeting in Toronto to discuss relief after the disastrous 2010 Haitian earthquake, the Free Press insisted on paying its own way.

“What is happening is pervasive,” Boone said. “Using sponsorships and opportunities to control people.”