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Two Legendary Atlanta Journalists Laid to Rest

By Hal Lamar | 10/14/2013, 6:17 p.m.
Portia Scott, 70, died Oct. 2. Scott worked at the Atlanta Daily World in various positions for more than 40 years.

Two of Atlanta’s legendary African American journalists Portia Scott of The Atlanta Daily World and former radio/TV broadcaster Ron Sailor were laid to rest last week.

Cardic arrest claimed both Scott and Sailor who spent their journalism careers in Atlanta. Services for Scott was last Wednesday followed by Sailor’s that following Saturday.

Portia Scott

Friends, colleagues and other notables packed Warren Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta for Scott’s homegoing.

A former managing editor for The Atlanta Daily World, Scott’s father C.A. Scott ran the paper for 63 years and taking over when his brother, W.A. Scott II who founded the paper in 1928 was killed.

Scott worked at the World in various positions for more than 40 years. She began writing a teen column while a student at Washington High School.

"She was always cheerful, had a wonderful smile, was studious, opinionated, and had a loving personality," the Rev. Hilliard M. Lee Jr., chaplain of the Booker T. Washington High School Class of 1960 told The World. "She was a lady of class."

Scott suffered cardiac arrest at home following a brief bout with ovarian cancer. She died Oct. 2 at the age of 70.

Scott also taught journalism at Clark Atlanta University and was an active member of different civic and community organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Atlanta Chapter of The Links Inc. She founded the Southwest Atlanta Branch of the Friendship Force of Greater Atlanta. She was an active member of Warren Memorial United Methodist Church.

She is survived by her daughter, Maryam Jordan, and son-in-law, Demetrius Jordan, as well as three grandchildren, Nehemiah, Petra and Levi; two nephews, Scott and Steven Walker; a niece, Staci Walker Lynch; a brother-in-law, David Walker; and a devoted friend, Fred Howard. Her older sister, Jocelyn Scott Walker, preceded her in death.

Ron Sailors

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Ron Sailor, 61, died Oct. 6.

Friends, colleagues and church members gathered in Dacula, in Gwinnett County, Saturday morning at Christ the King Baptist Church to pay final respects to pastor and former broadcaster colleague Ron Sailor.

Sailor died Sunday, Oct. 6 of complications from a heart attack he suffered en-route to the church for Sunday service. He was 61 years old.

Sailor’s full name was Walter Ronald Sailor, was born in the Summerhill community of Atlanta. At an early age, the family moved to the city’s northwest quadrant where Sailor attended both Turner and Douglass High Schools, graduating from the latter in 1971. It was at Douglass that he played football and developed the nickname “Blinky”.

During his high school years, he came to know the late Zenas Sears, then co-owner of Atlanta radio station WAOK who hired the young talent to work various odd jobs and fill-in slots on air as a DJ and newscaster. Sailor moved from there to Atlanta station WIGO in late 1971 where he became news director. In 1973, he hired a 23-year-old ex-Army veteran and broadcaster (this writer) in the news department before moving on to his first TV job at WETV (now WPBA) in 1974.