Almena Lomax: Civil Rights Activist and Celebrated Journalist Dies

The founder of the Los Angeles Tribune who covered the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Patty Hearst kidnapping dies at 95.

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Revered journalist Almena Lomax dies at 95.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Almena Lomax, a civil rights activist and celebrated black journalist who covered the Patty Hearst kidnapping and the Montgomery bus boycott and founded the Los Angeles Tribune newspaper, has died. Lomax died March 25 in Pasadena, according to an obituary from the United Negro College Fund, where her son Michael Lomax is president and chief executive officer.

A Texas native, Lomax moved with her family to Los Angeles, eventually studying journalism at Los Angeles City College. Upon graduation, she was unable to get a job at a major daily newspaper. Lomax went to work for a local black weekly, the California Eagle, then later had a radio news program.

In 1941 Lomax borrowed $100 from her future father-in-law to found the Los Angeles Tribune, which operated for two decades and at its peak had a circulation of 25,000.The newspaper had a reputation for feisty and fearless reporting, with articles about the movie industry and Los Angeles police racism. Lomax covered the Montgomery bus boycott, boycotted the film version of Porgy and Bess and won first prize in the Wendell L. Willkie Awards for Negro Journalism in 1964. The award, sponsored by the Washington Post, was given for a column that challenged the stereotype of black men's sexual prowess. Lomax also covered the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst and the search for black revolutionary Angela Davis.

In addition to her son Michael, Lomax is survived by a daughter, Mia D. Lomax, of Los Angeles; sons Mark Lomax, of Los Angeles, and Lucius Lomax, of Austin, Texas; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Two daughters, Michele and Melanie, preceded her in death. She was 95.

Read more at the San Jose Mercury News.

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