William "Bill" Hilliard, a former editor of The Oregonian and the first black president of American Society of Newspaper Editors, passed away on Jan. 16, 2017, the newspaper reported. He was 89.

Despite racial prejudice, Hilliard made his way up the ranks in the newspaper industry through hard work and perseverance. Four years after his 42-year career ended, he was named to the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame.