Elizabeth “Bettye” Murphy Phillips Moss
Elizabeth “Bettye” Murphy Phillips Moss, reporter, editor, publisher, corporate officer, and major stock holder in the AFRO-American Newspapers would have celebrated her 100th birthday March 11th. The granddaughter of founder John H. Murphy, Sr., she started her career very early following her father Carl Murphy around the newspaper learning the family business.
One of the youngest editors and eldest of five daughters, Bettye Moss was one of the first female African American War Correspondent dispatched by her father to cover World War II. Other firsts include being the first African American woman appointed to the Baltimore City School Board where she fought for educational programs for African American students and the appointment of minority administrators.
Journalism was her first love and she had a special gift for telling the total story. Over five decades, she tutored budding writers who worked under her umbrella. Up until her death in 1998, she wrote her column “If You Ask Me” that was born out of a charge that was given by her mother that there always needs to be some good news. Co-founder of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Vashti Turley Murphy’s challenge kept her writing good news using her unique skill to intertwine introducing the person while reporting on the event.
In addition to being a Golden Life member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and life member of the NAACP, she was active in many civic and community organizations including the Philomathians, Chums, We Wives, and Couples Club.
If You Ask Me tidbit: In memory of this legendary Journalist, newspaper executive, mother and friend; it should be noted that today’s publication of the AFRO is on her Centennial Birthday.
Thank You Mommy – Your Children and Grandchildren