Tubbs, Vincent (1915–1989)

By: Kharen Monsho

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1996

Vincent Tubbs, president of the Publicists Guild of America and the first African American to head a Hollywood film union, was born in Texas in 1915. He may have been recorded as being Verley Trenton Tubbs, Jr., born on September 25, 1915, in Dallas County. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he received his A.B. in 1938, and in 1939 he attended Atlanta University. From 1943 to 1954 he went to work for the Baltimore Afro-American news chain. From 1943 to 1945 he was one of a handful of black war correspondents during World War II, and in 1947 he received a War Department citation. He joined Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago in 1954 and became associate editor of Ebony magazine. From 1955 to 1959 he was managing editor of Jet magazine. In 1956 he was founder and president of the Windy City Press Club, and he won that group's award in 1957. That same year he won the Newsman's Newsman Award. Sometime while living in Chicago he married Mamie Hansberry. In 1959 Tubbs began his career in entertainment publicity at Warner Bros. Television in California. In the early 1960s he worked on several successful programs, including "The Lawman," "77 Sunset Strip," and "Cheyenne." He also worked as unit publicist on features for the studios, among them Wait Until Dark (1967), Up the Down Staircase (1967), and The Learning Tree (1969). Tubbs worked publicity for other companies such as Columbia, Paramount, and American International Pictures, in films including Little Big Man (1970), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), and on two films directed by Sidney Poitier, Let's Do It Again (1975), and Fast Forward. From 1972 to 1980 Tubbs was director of community relations for Warner Brothers. At the Publicists Guild, he began as treasurer, became first vice president, then in 1967, took over the post of president. He was cofounder of New United Television-Movie Equity Guild, an organization established to train minorities in behind the scenes film crafts. He also helped found Delta Phi Delta journalism fraternity and National Negro Newspaper Week. He was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood Press Club, and the Overseas Press Club. In 1974 he became involved with the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, later serving as president and on the board of directors. That year he received awards from the National Association of Media Women and as Male Decision Maker in Communications. Tubbs died on January 15, 1989, of a heart attack in his home in Los Angeles.

Edward Mapp, Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow, 1978). Variety Obituaries, 1989–90.
  • Journalism
  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
  • Journals and Publications
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
Time Periods:
  • World War II

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Kharen Monsho, “Tubbs, Vincent,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tubbs-vincent.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1996

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