Ken Smikle, founder of Target Market News, Dies of Congestive Heart Failure

Ken Smikle

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( – A celebration of life will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, September 22 in Chicago for Ken Smikle, an entrepreneur with a great vision. The 66-year-old Smikle died last week from congestive heart failure. He founded and was the publisher of Target Market News, a trade publication that reported on the black consumer market. As founder and editor of Target Market News, he appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS and BET.

Smikle also published Buying Power of Black America, an annual report that offered analysis of products and services most used by African American consumers,“Ken Smikle was a great man and a warrior for economic justice with a vision that appeared well beyond his years,” said Hazel Trice Edney, founder of Trice Edney News Wire. “He sought to document the buying power of black America through his publication by the same name.”

He also encouraged other black entrepreneurs. One day, he stopped his car in the middle of street, got out and walked over to shake my hand and learn how my newspaper NorthStar News Today, now BlackmansStreet.Today, was doing. I never forgot that. I only wish I had the friendship he offered.

Before starting his own publication, he was an editor at Black Enterprise. He was born Jan. 3, 1952, in New York, to Mary Alice Dobbins Smikle and Dr. Kenneth Raymond Smikle, a college dean.

The celebration of life will be held at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington.

He is survived by his wife, Renee Ferguson, a former NBC 5 investigative reporter in Chicago, and their son.

Mr. Smikle also is survived by his brother, the critically acclaimed photographer Dawoud Bey who was a recipient of a Genius Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation.

1 Comment

  1. Norma Montgomery on September 19, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I just saw Renee and her husband Ken on face saying that her husband needs a heart. Now he’s passed away. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to your entire family!

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