William “Bill” Blair Jr., 1994
William “Bill” Blair Jr. (1921 - 2014) was an all around athlete in his high school and college years. After college Blair enlisted in the US Army to serve during World War II. Upon his return home, Blair joined the Negro Baseball League as a pitcher, playing on various teams from 1946 to 1951. After an injury forced him into early retirement from baseball, Blair returned to Dallas and founded Southwest Sports, which evolved into Elite News in 1960, the oldest Black newspaper in North Texas. Elite News focused on stories of the Black community in Dallas and politics during the unrest of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1965, Blair partnered with Dr. S.M. Wright, the President of Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, and brought in a focus on Black churches and their activities in the political, social, and economic lives of the Black community. Additionally, Blair honored the Black community by creating the Elite News Awards Night, the Religious Hall of Fame, and by launching Dallas’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in 1986. Blair has been honored for his work in news publishing and baseball with various honors. Elite News is still in publication today, run by his son Darryl E. Blair Sr.
The University of Texas at Arlington holds the William Blair Archival Collection.