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Earl D. Harvey, publisher and booster of Black-owned businesses, dies at 65

Mr. Harvey knew how a good marketing campaign and networking can help stimulate business. He threw wonderful parties for Black entrepreneurs and professionals.

Earl D. Harvey
Earl D. HarveyRead moreCourtesy of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists

Earl D. Harvey, 65, of Atlantic City, a marketing consultant, journalist, and supporter of Black-owned businesses, died Monday, Oct. 12, of a heart attack at Atlantic City Hospital, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) announced Wednesday.

“Most immediately, my thoughts are with Earl’s mother in Atlantic City, for whom he provided primary care for many years as a dutiful son,” PABJ president Manuel Smith posted online. “There is no doubt that he made her, as he did many of us, proud.”

Mr. Harvey, Smith wrote, “was seemingly everywhere … in Philly.” He was the publisher of the Black Professionals News and the Atlantic City Times, small newspapers aimed at minority business owners in Philadelphia and South Jersey.

Smith wrote that Mr. Harvey was among the first publishers to “identify that meaningful impact and revenue could be had by hosting original in-person events, like the Black Professionals' Christmas Party.”

“With that innovation,” Smith wrote, “Earl discovered a pathway to editorial and financial freedom that allowed him to serve the information and social needs of the Delaware Valley’s Black community like none other.”

WDAS Radio host and personality Patty Jackson broke the news of Mr. Harvey’s death Monday night on her Facebook page.

“This one hurts,” she wrote. “He was known for his good nature, being personable, and he was always about his business and helping other businesses. He sponsored the parties for black professionals and was always helping others.”

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, Mr. Harvey ran the Black Business Leadership Council’s effort to help save the region’s small businesses, the Philadelphia Tribune reported.

“Earl reached out to [me] and other business leaders back in March and said we need to come together and develop strategies so that we could try to save as many Black businesses as possible,” Joel Wilson, executive director of iBuyBlack Philadelphia, told the Tribune.

Mr. Harvey was a member of the Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Committee, the Tribune said. MED Week reaches out to minority businesses through a series of events and connects owners to resources that can help their firms grow. He was also a past president of the National Alliance of Market Developers.

Mr. Harvey attended Central High School in Philadelphia. He lived in Atlantic City with his mother, Martha P. Harvey.

Even-tempered and jovial, he did not take himself too seriously. In 2015, he posted online: “I hope all my Greek Letter Facebook friends have a great time today at the Old School Greek Picnic. People always ask me why I never pledged a fraternity. Quite frankly, I would never join ANY organization that would have me for a member!”

As news of Mr. Harvey’s death circulated, 203 people left comments on Jackson’s Facebook page.

“Earl Harvey’s footprint in our community is HUGE, and he will be greatly missed,” Sharyn Flanagan wrote.

“Loved me some him,” wrote Naja Killebrew. “He helped me a lot and always was down for a good party!”

KYW news reporter Cherri Gregg published a tribute to Mr. Harvey, who had mentored her. “You always had a kind word, a push, and a contact,” she wrote online. “Thank you for your time and attention and help over the years, and for your work supporting our community. Your absence will leave a void, but your presence made this world a bit better.”

Mr. Harvey was honored by the PABJ with 2014′s Community Service Award. The video tribute is at this link.

His mother survives. Plans for funeral arrangements were pending.