State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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 1                          SENATE RESOLUTION
 2        WHEREAS, The members of the Senate were  deeply  saddened
 3    to  learn of the death of John Henry Herman Sengstacke, owner
 4    and  publisher  of  the  Chicago  Defender  and  advocate  of
 5    African-Americans, on Wednesday, May 28, 1997; and
 6        WHEREAS, He was born in Savannah,  Georgia,  on  November
 7    25, 1912; he graduated from Brick Junior College and from the
 8    Hampton Institute; he spent most of his life in the newspaper
 9    business;  as  a  child, he began working, soliciting ads and
10    doing layout and makeup on the  Woodville  Times,  the  paper
11    founded  by his grandfather, John H. H. Sengstacke, and later
12    published by his father, Alexander Sengstacke; and
13        WHEREAS, After graduation, he joined  the  staff  of  the
14    Chicago  Defender,  which  was  founded  by his uncle, Robert
15    Abbott, and, in 1934, he became publisher  of  the  Defender;
16    and
17        WHEREAS, Mr. Sengstacke inherited the Chicago Defender in
18    1940 and, in 1956, he converted the Defender from a weekly to
19    a  daily  newspaper;  it  continues  as  the nation's largest
20    African-American owned daily; and
21        WHEREAS, Mr. Sengstacke was  the  founder  of  the  Negro
22    Newspaper Publishers Association, known today as the National
23    Newspaper  Publishers  Association,  and  was also one of the
24    founders of the Amalgamated Publishers, Inc.; and
25        WHEREAS, During his years at the helm  of  the  Defender,
26    John  Sengstacke  became  a  major force in the fight for the
27    rights of African Americans and all underprivileged  citizens
28    and used the newspaper to improve the quality of life for all
29    people; and
30        WHEREAS,   He  was  instrumental  in  getting  the  first
31    African-American correspondent into the White House  and  was
                            -2-                LRB9005857CBcb
 1    involved  in  the  signing of Jackie Robinson by the Brooklyn
 2    Dodgers; during World War II, he served as president  of  the
 3    Chicago rationing board and adviser to the U.S. Office of War
 4    Information; and
 5        WHEREAS,  After  the war, President Truman appointed John
 6    Sengstacke to the committee desegregating  the  military;  he
 7    served  as  an  adviser  to  Presidents  Truman, Kennedy, and
 8    Johnson; and
 9        WHEREAS, Mr. Sengstacke was decorated by the  governments
10    of Liberia and Haiti for his achievements and his dedications
11    to protecting the rights of humanity; and
12        WHEREAS,  Mr.  Sengstacke  leaves  a  legacy of community
13    involvement and civic concern  that  will  long  inspire  the
14    citizens  of  this  State  and the nation; as Chairman of the
15    Board of Provident Hospital & Training School Association, he
16    was instrumental in the building of the new Provident Medical
17    Center; he has  served  on  numerous  boards,  including  the
18    Advisory Board of the Boy Scouts of America; and
19        WHEREAS, His passing is a grievous loss to his family and
20    community;  he  will be deeply missed by his son, Robert; his
21    brother, Frederick; his sisters, Flaurience Collins and Ethel
22    Sengstacke; and six grandchildren; therefore, be it
24    OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we note with sorrow and regret
25    the death of a great humanitarian, John H. H. Sengstacke, and
26    extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends; and
27    be it further
28        RESOLVED, That a suitable  copy  of  this  resolution  be
29    presented  to  the  family  of  John  H.  H. Sengstacke as an
30    expression of our sympathy.

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