Pearl Bailey Mural Unveiled in Newport News

Photo Courtesy: City of Newport News

The City of Newport News revealed a new mural honoring the late Pearl Bailey on Thursday, the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Pearl Bailey was a native to Newport News and a world renown entertainer. She was born in Newport News in 1918 and died suddenly in 1990.

According to the City’s press release, she sang, danced and entertained from an early age. Her brother, Bill Bailey, was also a famed dancer. Their parents were Rev. Joseph and Ella Mae Bailey.

Pearl was a Tony and Emmy Award winning entertainer and published six books. She was also known for her good cause work on behalf of literacy and AIDS prevention and awareness and as the United States Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations.

The City of Newport News named its Wickham Avenue Library in her honor back in 1988, which is where the mural has been placed.

The mural was painted by Asa Jackson, who grew up in Newport News. He also painted the Ella Fitzgerald mural on the Jefferson Brookville Apartment and the W. Hale Thompson mural on 25th Street.