Earl Harvey, publisher of the Black Professionals News, died on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, of a heart attack. He was 65.
Harvey championed the region’s Black-owned businesses.
WDAS Radio host Patty Jackson broke the news of his passing via Facebook post late Monday night.
“Earl was affectionately known as the godfather of Black business here in the city,” said Joel Wilson, the executive director of iBuyBlack Philadelphia.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, Harvey spearheaded the Black Business Leadership Council to help galvanize efforts to save the region’s small businesses.
“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,” Wilson said.
The collaboration recently produced the new Black Small Business Resource Guide.
“He sort of touched every aspect of the Black community – fraternal organizations, the civic community, folks in politics. Everybody knew Earl,” Wilson said
Harvey was a longtime member of the Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Committee. MED Week is annual weeklong series of events that highlights minority businesses and connects them to resources that can help their firms grow
He received the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) Champion Award in 2019 – which is awarded to a community member that has demonstrated the values of OEO.
“He has more than demonstrated that he was all about African American owned businesses,” said Iola Harper, deputy commerce director. “Ever since I’ve known him he has been about our community from day one. He added a great deal to the MED Committee and his legacy will never be forgotten.”
Harvey was instrumental in entrepreneur Michelle Snow being honored with the Grassroots Award during the 2018 MED Week.
“Earl Harvey is the heart beat of most of us as entrepreneurs,” said Snow, who leads the Michelle Snow Company LLC.
“He was a core part of the foundation for me having the success that I have. He literally taught me how to network efficiently and how to draw people into my village.”
His publication was also one of the first to highlight her story of entrepreneurship.
He was the CEO of the Earl Harvey Media Group. He also published the Atlantic City Times.
He was known for hosting the Earl Harvey and Rhonda Yancy Old School Party at Philly’s Platinum Grille and the annual Black Professionals Holiday Party. Harvey served as a caretaker for his elderly mother and resided in Atlantic City.
“Earl was one the most giving people that I knew,” said his good friend, Derrell Jones. “He was truly someone that you could depend on. He was more than just a diamond in the rough. He was a diamond that was polished very well. He will be truly missed and loved by all who knew him.”