Home > Black Power, Socialism/Communism > Charles P. Howard Sr.

Charles P. Howard Sr.

From Des Moines Register

“I would rather die and go to hell than to let my children know that by my silence, by my acquiesce, I permitted to grow stronger the sentiment that they were not entitled to absolutely everything that everybody else in this country is entitled to.”- Charles P. Howard Sr.,
The Observer/Iowa Bystander,
April 16, 1927 

Charles P. Howard Sr. (1890-1965) was born in Des Moines and received his law degree from Drake University in 1920. He graduated from the Fort Des Moines officer-candidate school in 1917 as a second lieutenant and served with the 92nd Division, 366th Infantry in World War I France in 1918. A gifted lawyer who never lost a capital trial and co-founded the National Bar Association in 1925, Howard was an Iowa Bystander columnist in the 1920s and 1930s, and later published the Iowa Observer newspaper in 1939.

In 1948, he keynoted the Progressive Party National Convention and befriended controversial entertainer Paul Robeson. After attending the Communist-sponsored World Peace Congress in Warsaw, Poland, in 1950, Howard returned to Iowa the target of intense criticism and was disbarred in 1951. He served as the National Negro Press correspondent at the United Nations until his death, but remains regarded by many as Iowa’s most colorful journalist of all time.

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