‘Rolling Out’ reports death of senior editor N. Ali Early

The multitalented writer, editor, and brand marketer's death was announced Friday

N. Ali Early, senior editor for the Atlanta-based entertainment and media company Rolling Out, has died.

The outlet shared news of Early’s passing on Friday, Jan. 28, reporting no official cause of death for the Bay Area native and father of three known for his skill and versatility as a writer, editor, and brand builder.

Hailing from Richmond, California, Early developed a love for the written word as a child, honing the craft throughout his preparatory school years before enrolling at the esteemed HBCU Clark Atlanta University, where he earned his degree in mass media.

N. Ali Early thegrio.com
N. Ali Early (Credit: Facebook)

After a brief stint as a promoter, Early joined Rolling Out UrbanStyle Weekly as a freelancer in 2000 and was promoted to a staff writing position within his first three months on the job.

During over two decades with the outlet, Early showcased his talents covering some of the biggest names in entertainment including Kelly Price, Keri Hilson, Angela Rye, Blac Chyna, and more, earning strong praise from readers.

“N. Ali Early is a prolific writer & journalist who’s always at the top of his game,” a Facebook user wrote. “He knows how to write about a multiplicity of topics from entertainment to politics and impart his viewpoints in a way that’s always easily understood!” 

“Secondly, Early is a fluent and phenomenal speaker, which explains why he exudes such ease in interviewing various people at every level,” the user continued. “Early’s ability to create websites & capture the essence of the person/product/service is super special.”

Early shared in a biography on his personal website that despite his early love for writing, the path to a career in the medium was not always clear to him. 

N. Ali Early thegrio.com
Early and his wife Tené (Credit: Facebook)

“I always tell people I’ve been writing all my life,” Early wrote, adding, “The idea of writing as a career was something I never imagined…Not that I didn’t think I could do it. I just never thought to do it.”

Early said his first few years at Rolling Out gave him the spark to start his own company, Kreative Souls LLC, a media platform and brand marketing agency offering services in writing, marketing, and graphic design.

Early said throughout his multiple career endeavors, his love for writing remained fundamental to his success.

“Whatever I do, to the day, evolves around my ability to use a pen to my advantage. I’m speaking figuratively of course, because computers are the way of the world,” Early said during an interview in 2018 preceeding The Cali Picnic, a gathering co-organized by Early devoted to California natives living in Georgia.

“…It’s critical to be able to communicate on paper before you open your mouth – be it an introduction email, marketing proposal, treatment, etc.,” he added. “If you can’t entice a potential customer with compelling copy, communicating your message is a daunting task.”

Rolling Out reports that Early is survived by his wife, Tené Early, with whom he raised three boys, Khalon, Keon, and Kalel.

A GoFundMe in Early’s honor was created to support his family.

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