Earlier this month, Cathy Hughes, businesswoman, radio personality, and founder of Urban One, America’s largest Black broadcast network, was recently honored by Congress in recognition of 40 years on the air.
As the founder and chairperson of Urban One, Hughes has dedicated her career to amplifying the voices of Black people and their perspectives through the airwaves.
In the late 1970s, Hughes started her own radio station, once known as Radio One, now Urban One. After seven years, the radio station became profitable and continued to grow. In 1999, at the recommendation of her son, who had received his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Cathy Hughes became the first African-American woman to chair a publicly held corporation, following the sale of more than seven million shares of common stock to the public. She has received numerous awards, including being selected for the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2019, the Woman of the Year Award by 100 Black Men of America in 2018, the Ida B. Wells Living Legacy Award in 2011 and the Essence Women Shaping the World Award in 2008. She was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard University was named for her in 2016.