Last week, in our Black History Month series Major League Moms we looked into the life of Marian Wright Edelman the Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund and the first black women admitted into the Mississippi State Bar. This week our Major League Mom is Cathy Hughes the founder and owner of Radio One, the largest black-owned radio chain in the nation, which has over 70 radio stations and owner of the TV One television network.
Cathy Hughes began working in radio in 1969 for KOWH which lead to a job offer from Howard University where she was a Lecturer and Assistant to the Dean of Communications; eventually she became the manager of Howard University’s Radio Station. In 1979, Cathy and her husband attempted to start their own radio station but was declined by 32 banks, finally a loan was granted and they purchased a small radio station in D.C. (don’t tell me that’s not determination!). She was determined to have a talk-show formatted radio show on her station, but the bank wanted her to host an R&B music station. After much determination, she compromised with the bank to allow her to have a talk-show during the morning hours and played music during the day. After the start of the station, she and her husband divorced leaving her as a single mother to her son. Following some financial hardships with the station and buying her husband’s shares of the station, Cathy was forced to sell her home and to live in the station with her son. As a result of her hard work and determination she experienced success through her talk show platform and is the mogul that we see today as the first women-owned station to rank # 1 in any market and her success through her TV One television network along with her son Alfred.
We can all learn from Ms. Hughes’ tenacity and her willingness to fight to see her dreams manifested. She is truly a “Major League Mom”
Her favorite quote is: “It is not enough for you to do your very best. You must do what is required of the situation.”