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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Council, Carl C. [Carlyle Ceasar]

26 Jan. 1895–27 Jan. 1964

Carl C. [Carlyle Ceasar] Council, newspaper publisher and radio and television executive, son of William L. and Ida Herndon Council, was born in Chatham County. His family moved to Durham while he was in his early teens, and as a very small boy he carried a part of a newspaper delivery route for the Durham Morning Herald, working under a subcontract until he was old enough to have a route in his own right.

Council attended elementary and secondary public schools in Durham but, following the death of his father, left school to take a full-time job in the circulation department of the Herald. In 1918 he left the Herald for work with a Durham business firm, but within a few months, through his friendship with E. T. Rollins, he became co-owner of the Herald, purchasing the partnership holdings of Joe King.

In his new role, Council oriented himself in all phases of the work of the paper, assuming increasing responsibility for circulation and advertising and sharing the business management with Rollins. In 1927, Council was given the title of manager. Rollins had great respect and esteem for his young associate, and the business relationship of the two remained cordial. The circulation of the paper increased rapidly, advertising multiplied, and the business was an impressive success. In 1929 the Durham Herald Company bought the local afternoon paper, the Durham Sun, and soon produced both newspapers on an around-the-clock schedule in the same shop.

When Rollins died in 1931, Council assumed the presidency of the company and held it successfully until his death. He directed the growth in circulation of the papers, enhancing their status as advertising media, as opinion molders, and as communicators of news and opinions.

Council was an active churchman. He joined Temple Baptist Church, Durham, in his early youth and through the years served on many of the church's committees and boards, including the board of deacons, of which he was chairman for two terms.

He was equally active in civic affairs in Durham and earned two of the city's top honors: the annual civic award to the outstanding citizen, presented by the Chamber of Commerce in 1941; and the designation as Father-of-the-Year by the Durham Merchants Association in 1962. He was a member of the Durham County Board of Education for fourteen years (1942–56) and served twenty-five years (1939–64) as a member of the city planning and zoning commission. He was founder (1936), president, and treasurer of the Durham Radio Corporation, which was the operator of radio stations WDNC and WDNC-FM, and later of WTVD, until their sale to Capitol Cities Broadcasting Corporation, of which he was a director. He was also a director of the Home Savings and Loan Association, the Security Savings and Loan Association, and the Durham and Southern Railway and chairman of the local board of the North Carolina National Bank.

His civic connections included membership in and the presidency of the Chamber of Commerce, the Durham Community Chest (United Fund), the Durham Merchants Association, and the Rotary Club of Durham and the directorship of the local YMCA.

From his early years with the paper, Council was a leader in various newspaper organizations: the North Carolina Press Association (president, 1936–37), the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (director), the American Society of Newspaper Publishers, the state and regional organizations of the Associated Press, and other newsgathering organizations.

He served for a number of years, by gubernatorial appointment, as a board member and sometime chairman of the North Carolina Sanitoriums for the Treatment of Tuberculosis. In 1960 he was the state chairman of the Christmas Seal campaign.

Council was married to Mary Frances Stuart on 11 Aug. 1915; they had two children, Carl C., Jr., who lost his life on Anzio Beach in World War II, and Mary Frances (Mrs. Thomas S. White, Jr.), who survived her father. Council died at Duke Hospital, Durham, and was buried in Durham's Maplewood Cemetery.


Durham Morning Herald, 6 Mar. 1949, 1 Feb. 1964.

Who's Who in America, 1962–63.

Who Was Who in America, vol. 4 (1968).

Additional Resources:

North Carolina Good Health Association. The good health campaign of North Carolina. [North Carolina Good Health Association?] [1947]. 60. (accessed January 22, 2014).

"Tar Heel of the Week." Raleigh News and Observer. July 1, 1951.

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