San Diego Doctor Willie Morrow, Pioneer in Black Hair Care and Creator of the Afro Pick and California Curl, Dies at 82

Willie Morrow, shown in this file photo with one of his hair inventions, is a longtime entrepreneur who created handmade combs and related items designed for Black hair.(John Gastaldo/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Dr. Willie Morrow, publisher emeritus of the San Diego Monitor and creator of one of the most well-known symbols of Black pride, the Afro Pick, passed away at his home surrounded by family on Wednesday, June 22. Morrow is also the creator of “California Curl,” a once-popular hair texturizer many call the forerunner to the Jheri Curl.

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to a family of sharecroppers, Morrow taught himself the basics of barbering and chemistry, tools that served as the foundation to his hair care empire.

From the 1960s to the mid-1990s, Dr. Morrow set up his headquarters at 4165 Market Street in San Diego. The two-story building housed his barbershop, salon and publication company where he printed the San Diego Monitor newspaper and operated a San Diego’s 92.5 FM radio station.

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SOURCE: EURweb, Edward Henderson