Wilbert “Bill” Tatum, former publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York Amsterdam News, died on Thursday, February 25, according to the New York Daily News. He was 76 years old. The Amsterdam News is one of the oldest Black newspapers in the country. Tatum was traveling with his wife when he died. Longtime friend and supporter Reverend Al Sharpton released the following statement shortly after hearing about his death.
“I was informed late last evening by Ms. Elinor Tatum of the passing of her father, Wilbert Tatum. Bill Tatum, Publisher Emeritus of the New York Amsterdam News and former Deputy Borough President of Manhattan, is an iconic and vitally important figure in both journalism and civil rights. I first met him when I was a teenager involved in civil rights work in New York and have known him over 30 years. His courage, his tenacity, his sagacity, and his advocacy, is unparalleled in African-American journalism. We have lost a great advocate, a penetrating writer, an unmatchable institution builder, and for me, a great friend and father figure. I will be working closely with “Elly” and his widow, Susan, towards funeral arrangements next week and the returning of his remains in his beloved New York City.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be determined. –WLW