From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Woods, Mattiebelle

(born: 1902  -  died: 2005) 

Mattiebelle Woods, a journalist, was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Annabelle and Ira Woods. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and married when she was 19. Shortly after her daughter was born, Woods lost her husband in a car accident. She was briefly married again at age 24; that marriage ended in divorce. Beginning in the 1940s, Woods became a society reporter, writing for African American newspapers. In 1964, she joined the Milwaukee Courier and was also a reporter for several other Milwaukee newspapers and the Chicago Defender. She was also a freelance writer for Ebony and Jet magazines. Woods loved to dance and was featured in Jet doing the electric slide. She attended a Christmas party at the Clinton White House. Her newspaper column, "Partyline," was last written the week she died; Woods had been a journalist with the Milwaukee Courier for more than 40 years and was the oldest working journalist in the U.S. For more see A. R. Silvers, "Obituary: Mattiebelle Woods 1902-2005," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/19/2005, A News section, p.1; "Mattiebelle Woods," in vol. 8 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and contact NPR for recording of E. Gordon's remembrance of "Mattiebelle Woods, pioneer journalist."

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Milwaukee courier (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Chicago defender (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Ebony (periodical)
NKAA Source: Jet (periodical)
NKAA Source: Milwaukee journal sentinel (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The African American national biography

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Woods, Mattiebelle,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 19, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-11-14 15:37:22