Media maven and Urban One founder Cathy Hughes celebrates her 75th birthday today (April 22). Hughes has been a force in the media industry from the late 60s into the 70s, when she and her late husband Dewey Hughes first formed Radio One with the intent of being a mouthpiece for Black America. After Hughes death, Cathy carried on the Radio One legacy, eventually growing the company to nearly 70 radio stations, two cable networks, and nationally syndicated brands, including HelloBeautiful, MadameNoire, NewsOne, Bossip, Cassius and HipHopWired. She became the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation in 1999.
Hughes further expanded the company in 2004 with the launch of TV One and iOne Digital, helmed by her son Alfred Liggins III, who became CEO in 1997. Liggins helped take the Radio One brand to the next level.
“I do not want to be separated from those I serve. I love my radio audience. I love my cable viewers. I love my digital participants, and that’s really the connection from which I don’t want to be separated,” Hughes told MONARCH Magazine in 2020 . “I never imagined that I would be part of the largest Black-owned media company today. I never dreamed about helping folks craft their careers and professions and helping them become successful.”
In 2021, Cathy and her son Alfred Liggens III were inducted into the Cablefax Cable Center Hall of Fame — just one of many honors she’s received over her trailblazing career.
“As a child, I didn’t realize the foundation she was laying for Radio One and Urban One to become what it is today-to provide a voice and be of service to the African American community; it was just normal life for me,“ said Liggins.
We stand on the foundation Ms. H created decades ago. HelloBeautiful, MadameNoire and NewsOne are extensions of her dedication to uplifting the company’s “information is power” mantra. She continues to serve the Black community through throught-provoking content, UrbanOne Honors, and countless philanthropic initiatives.
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Cathy Hughes attends NYC Mission Society’s 2018 Champions for Children gala on April 24, 2018 in New York City.
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Cathy Hughes during Karma: The 4th Annual Ludacris Foundation Dinner & Casino Night – Arrivals at Atlanta Apparel Mart in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
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Cathy Hughes attends ESSENCE MAGAZINE 40th Anniversary of FIERCE AND FABULOUS Awards Luncheon at Mandarin Oriental on September 13, 2010 in New York City.
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Honoree Cathy Hughes, TV One/Radio One Chairman attends NMAAM’s Celebration Of Legends Red Carpet And Luncheon on May 6, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Cathy Hughes attends 2018 Urban One Honors at The Anthem on December 9, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Cathy Hughes and Billy Porter attends 2019 Urban One Honors at MGM National Harbor on December 05, 2019 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
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Ray J, Cathy Hughes and Brandy attend 2018 Urban One Honors at The Anthem on December 9, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Cathy Hughes onstage during 2019 Urban One Honors at MGM National Harbor on December 05, 2019 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
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Cathy Hughes, Chairman of Radio One with Beyonce during Radio One’s 25th Anniversary Awards Dinner Gala at JW Marriot in Washington, DC, United States.
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Sean “Diddy” Combs and Cathy Hughes during Radio One Spring Fest – Concert in Miami, Florida, United States.
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Tina Knowles-Lawson and CEO of TV One Cathy Hughes pose for a photo at the Pan African Film Festival screening of “Media” at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on February 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.