Crusader Staff Report
Houston Forward Times Publisher Karen Carter Richards is recovering after suffering a massive aneurysm that ruptured her aorta on Sunday, April 1.
According to an NNPA Publishers Alert by Chairman Dorothy R. Leavell and President Ben Chavis, Richards underwent an eight-hour “Acute Type A Aortic Dissection” surgery. After experiencing chest pains at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, her son took her to the hospital emergency room.
On Tuesday, Richards was reportedly up and breathing on her own at Houston’s Methodist Hospital. Her staff members at the Forward Times will continue to publish the newspaper while Richards is recovering.
“Please join all our NNPA member publishers and associates across the nation as we offer our sincerest prayers for the health and recovery of Karen Carter Richards,” Leavell and Chavis said in a statement.
Richards serves as CEO and Publisher of the 58-year-old Forward Times, one of the South’s largest Black-owned and independently published newspapers.
According to its website, Richards “has creatively expanded the mission of the Forward Times and has continued her family’s publishing legacy to ensure that it remains the strongest information vehicle and most trusted voice for African Americans in the city of Houston and throughout the southern region.”
Richards began working full time at the Forward Times in 1983. For three decades, Richards worked alongside, and shadowed her mother to learn the newspaper publishing business. She became publisher of the Forward Times after her mother Lenora “Doll” Carter died in 2010.
Richards has transformed the Forward Times into a multi-media powerhouse that has won many NNPA Merit Awards. The newspaper remains one of the strongest and most trusted voices for African Americans in Houston.
Richards is currently 1st Vice Chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), which consists of more than 200 African American newspapers across the country.
She was selected as an inaugural member of the International Wo- men’s Forum (I.W.F.) – Houston Chapter. The International Women’s Forum is a singularly unique organization comprised of more than 6,000 dynamic women leaders in 33 countries and 74 forums around the world. She served as Chairperson of “Go Red Girlfriend,” an African American Awareness Initiative for the American Heart Association, and is a recipient of the National Council of Negro Women’s Mary McLeod Beth- une Impact Service Award.
Richards recently founded the Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship & Youth Foundation, which benefits low-to-moderate income Houston high school seniors and college students interested in various areas of journalism. Since 2010, the Foundation has provided internships to high school and college students in order to prepare them for a career in their prospective fields of study, through a practical learning experience in Journalism, Printing, Broadcasting and Digital Communications.
The late publisher Julius P. Carter started the Houston Forward Times in January 1960. Carter founded the newspaper to unite Blacks and help them overcome the obstacles that people of color faced in Houston. He realized that Blacks could only overcome in unity, and needed a mechanism to communicate their needs to one another. Carter passed away suddenly in 1971 after catapulting the Forward Times into the third major newspaper in Houston a weekly, only behind the two dailies.