Victor Hugo Green published the first issue of The Green Book while working as a mail carrier in New York City. He initially partnered with George L. Smith on the venture, but Smith died soon after the publication of the first issue. Green’s brother, William, then joined the firm and worked with Victor until 1945. Victor’s wife, Alma Duke Green, assisted with the venture and took over management of the publication when Green retired in 1952. Green presumably retired due to health issues, but stayed on board as an advisor until his death at age 67 in 1960.


In the 1950s and 1960s, Alma Green presided over an all-female staff, a rarity in that era. The 1961 issue included photos of staff members Edith Greene, Dorothy Asch, Evelyn Woolfolk, and Novera Dashiell. In 1962, Alma sold the business to Langley Waller, a Harlem businessman, and Melvin Tapley, a cartoonist from the New York Amsterdam News, who continued the publication until it ceased in 1966/1967.

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