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Walter Earl Douglas papers

Identifier: AMN 1127


Walter Earl Douglas (1923-1979), an African-American newspaper journalist and writer. A stanch conservative Republican, Douglas wrote columns under the byline of "The Earl of Charleston" and "W. Earl Douglas." His columns were featured in South Carolina newspapers including the "Charleston Chronicle," "The Charleston Evening Post" and "Black News" (Columbia), in addition to syndicated nationally papers including the "Union Leader" (Manchester, New Hampshire). Douglas' writings incorporate his position on political conservatism, African-American culture, socioeconomics, United States government and politics, international politics, among numerous other topics. The collection documents Douglas' extensive writings through essays, editorials, newspaper clippings of his editorials; transcripts of speeches and television show, "Earl's Byline;" and personal writings of short stories and poems from 1963 to 1979, with the majority ranging from 1976-1979. Correspondence includes letters from elected government officials (President Jimmy Carter, Senators Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Ernest F. Hollings, and South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards) and newspaper editors, William Loeb, III and Thomas R. Waring.


  • 1963-1979
  • Majority of material found within 1977-1979


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Biographical/Historical note

Walter Earl Douglas was born on August 13,1923 in Chicago, Illinois. His early youth was spent on a family farm in Washington state. Douglas later relocated to New York City where he met his future wife, Charleston native, Rosslee Tenetha Green. The couple married in 1952 and raised two children, Lynne Victoria and Sherman Elliott. In 1969, the Douglas' moved to Mt. Pleasant, a neighboring town near Charleston, South Carolina.

A prolific writer, Douglas wrote editorials for the "Charleston Chronicle," in which he was managing editor in the early 1970s, "The Charleston Evening Post," and the "Black News (Columbia, South Carolina). During the years of 1976-1979, Douglas wrote for the "Manchester Union-Leader," under the editorial helm of William "Bill" Loeb, III. Loeb promoted extensively for the syndication of Douglas' politically conservative column to extend his readership across the United States.

Douglas authored and self published "The Freedom Factor" newsletter, in addition to numerous booklets regarding his stance on political conservatism, liberal African-Americans, socioeconomics, international and South African politics. He hosted "Earl's Byline" a television talk show broadcasted on WCBD-TV in Charleston, SC in the mid-1970s.

Befriended by South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards, Douglas was appointed as a Commissioner for the state's Consumer Commission in 1977. He was also a board member of the Charleston County Economic Opportunity Commission. On a national level, Douglas participated in the White House Conference on Balance National Growth and Economic Development under President Jimmy Carter's administration in 1978.

On June 5 1979, at the height of his writing career, Walter Earl Douglas succumbed to complications from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at the age of fifty-six.


3.6 linear feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials


Arrangement note

1. Biographical Information, 1961-1979

2. Manuscripts: Essays, 1972-1978, and undated

3. Publications, 1973-1979, and undated

4. Speeches and Media Programming, c. 1977-1978

5. Personal Writings, 1964-1970, and undated

6. Correspondence, 1972-1979, and undated

7. Civic Involvement, 1976-1979

8. Research Materials, 1963-1979

Walter Earl Douglas Papers AMN 1127
Finding aid prepared by Georgette Mayo
Description rules
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States