Charles Wright, physician and museum founder


Our staff amassed a list of the 150 Michiganians who most affected the news, history and our lives − for better or worse − in the 150 years of The Detroit News, ranked from 150 to 1 (Read the FAQ on our selection process here). Here are our picks, one a day through our birthday on Aug. 23.

68: Charles Wright, physician and museum founder (1918-2002)

Dr. Charles H. Wright, founder of the Museum of African American History.

Dr. Charles Wright was both a physician and civil-rights activist. After completing two residencies in Harlem and Cleveland, Wright moved to Detroit and practiced general medicine, later becoming a gynecologist, surgeon and senior physician at Hutzel Women’s Hospital. In the 1960s he joined the civil rights movement, joining marches in the south and providing medical care for fellow protesters. Throughout his career, Wright worked to bring more African Americans into the medical field, raising funds for scholarships. He also advocated for a museum to celebrate Black history, and was instrumental in the 1985 opening of the Detrout Museum of African American History, which in 1989 was renamed the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in his honor.

▶ About The News:About The News: 150 Detroit News facts in 150 days

69: Louis Chevrolet, race car driver & Chevrolet co-founder (1878-1941)

Louis Chevrolet is seen driving the Buick 60 Special at Indianapolis, circa 1910.
Louis Chevrolet,  co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Co.

Louis Chevrolet was co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Company, which later became a a division of General Motors Corp.. Chevrolet learned most of what he knew about cars through racing. After driving race cars for Buick for years, in 1909 Chevrolet began designing his own engine for a new kind of car. He was one of the three designers credited with creating the Buick 60 Special, one of the first American-made race cars with a single front-seat for the driver. In 1911, with the help of his brother, Ralph and GM founder William C. Durant, Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit. It was absorbed into GM and has become one of the most iconic brands in automotive history.

70: George Booth, second Detroit News publisher (1864-1949)

James E. Scripps' son-in-law , George Booth who was married to Ellen Warren Scripps.

George Gough Booth was the son-in-law of Detroit News founder James E. Scripp, and the man who led it into the 20th Century. Booth was an innovator in publishing, pushing the news to leadership in both journalism and technology. He guided the paper as If you like what you’re reading, George Gough Booth is to thank. Booth’s father-in-law, James E. Scripps, convinced him to go into the newspaper business. Although Scripps founded The Detroit News, Booth is continually recognized for the paper’s success. Booth went on to found Michigan’s largest newspaper conglomerate, Booth Newspapers. Booth Newspapers has henceforth turned into MLive Media Group, which owns eight papers around Michigan. Outside of journalism, Booth was an avid philanthropist. He was a supporter of the arts, and both George and his brother frequently donated to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

71: Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy (1959-present)

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, signs autographs and shakes hands with crowds during a taping of The Today Show, Sept. 25th, 2008.
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