Pioneer Earl Gilbert Graves Sr., founder of Black Enterprise and the ultimate champion of black business, passed away on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Graves was 85 years old and was a loving father and grandfather, devoted husband of 50 years, trailblazing businessman, man of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and proud HBCU graduate, hailing from the Morgan State University Class of 1957, where he studied economics.
It is without question that Graves was a force of a business man. We are forever in his debt for the numerous trails he blazed. Outside of his many business deals and millions made, we also celebrate his legacy of being an honorable man and a role model for the Black college community.
We cherish tender memories like the infamous story of him embracing the homecoming spirit at his alma mater, in a very “Graves-like” fashion: During Morgan State’s Homecoming Week, he reached out to the local florists in an effort to provide flowers for the week’s festivities. After securing the role as florist representative and a campus discount, Graves covered MSU, selling flowers and spreading Bears cheer.
Here are some of our favorite quotes from the legend himself:
We express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Graves, our partners at Black Enterprise and the Morgan State and Black college community.