- Category : 1937-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 2
American journalist who was the first black national correspondent with the Washington Post in 1967; within ten years he was a journalist of national stature as a reporter, editor and social critic. In 1979, he became the editor of the Oakland Tribune; four years later, in April 1983, a high school dropout with little money, he bought out the paper with $5 million down and a promissory note for the $17 million balance. He went on to complete a string of seemingly impossible feats, doing what people said couldn't be done.
Robert Clyve Maynard grew up in the mostly black Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY. His father owned a small trucking firm and was also a part time preacher and his mother, an immigrant from Barbados. Maynard was the youngest of six children. His father’s encouragement of excellence in every life endeavor was a great influence on Maynard. At family meals, he and his siblings were expected to share what they’d learned that day. Maynard began writing down his ideas so he wouldn’t forget and that sparked an interest in writing. The family also placed great confidence in education and Maynard’s brothers and sisters attended college. He was so confident of his writing abilities, however, that he cut classes.
He was hired as a reporter for the black weekly paper, the "New York Age" when he was only 16 and he dropped out of high school. At 19 he moved to Greenwich Village and became a freelance writer. His work was repeatedly rejected by white newspapers until 1961 when he was hired by the "York Gazette and Daily" in Pennsylvania as a police and urban affairs reporter.
In 1966 Maynard won a Nieman Fellowship grant to study at Harvard for a year, his only formal education. He was later awarded honorary doctorates from York College in Pennsylvania and the California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1967 he joined the Washington Post and became their first black national correspondent. He began working part time as senior editor of a black monthly, "Encore," in 1972. In 1976 his stature had grown to where he was selected to serve as one of three questioners in a presidential campaign debate between President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
As head of the "Oakland Trib," Maynard provided professional opportunities for members of disadvantaged groups. He became administrator of the "Institute for Journalism Education" in Berkeley, a group he founded in 1977 through the University of California. Its purpose is to aid nonwhite journalists. The Institute graduates about one fourth of all newly hired minority journalists.
He is a Democrat and Lutheran and has many professional affiliations. Maynard is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a board member of Associated Press, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Pacific School of Religion, and the Oakland Chamber of Commerce.
In 1975, Maynard married Nancy Hall (Hicks) and they have two sons. He also has a daughter, Dori, from his first marriage, who is also a journalist. His personal hobbies include reading good books, gourmet cooking, and classic cars. He collects fountain pens. Maynard is interested in photography, woodcarving, jazz, and studying languages. He practices yoga and stays in condition by rowing, jogging, and hiking.
He died in Oakland, California on 17 August 1993.