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

A celebration of life was held on Saturday, September 22nd at First United Methodist Church 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.”

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

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

Mr. Smikle is also 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.