Local Obituaries

Memorial service honors William Lee, founder of Sacramento’s African American newspaper

Hundreds of family and friends gathered at St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church on Tuesday in Oak Park to honor William Lee, the founder of Sacramento’s African American newspaper.

He was remembered by Rep. Doris Matsui, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, National Newspaper Publishers Association president Benjamin Chavis Jr. and Margaret Fortune, president of Fortune School, among others.

“At a time when African American voices in Sacramento weren’t being heard, weren’t being told, Dr. Lee stood up and did something about it,” Matsui said.

Lee’s son William Lee Jr. sang “Smile” as a moving tribute to his father.

Lee founded The Sacramento Observer in the 1960s at the age of 26. He died last weekend at the age of 83.

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