Publisher Mildred Brown Dies

From Staff and Wire Reports

Mildred Brown, a civil rights activist and the owner, publisher and editor of the Omaha Star for 52 years, has died in an apartment behind the newspaper's Omaha office. She was 76.

Ms. Brown died Thursday after a bout with a severe cold.

Her little paper began publishing on July 9, 1938, selling 6,000 copies for a dime apiece. Circulation is now 30,685 and the price is 35 cents.

Sought out by politicians, Brown, winner of the NAACP's Unsung Heroine Award, enjoyed a special friendship with the late Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.), who was known for his civil rights legislation.

The Star covered not only civil rights protests and violence and the black perspective on news, but everyday community and church news, including many entire sermons.

The motto she gave to her paper was: "Dedicated to the service of the people that no good cause shall lack a champion and that evil shall not go unopposed."

"This paper breaks down discrimination in this town," she once said of her success running the area's only black newspaper. "They call us troublemakers, nothing but troublemakers. I just sold ads like mad."

Brown was divorced from her husband, Dr. S. Edward Gilbert, in 1943. She is survived by a brother, Bennie D. Brown of Chicago, three nephews and two nieces.

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