Walter S. Copeland owned or co-owned important newspapers across Virginia including the Danville Register, Richmond Evening Leader, Roanoke Times, and Newport News Daily Press. Held in high esteem by his journalistic peers, he served four terms as president of the Virginia Press Association. Copeland supportedreforms to improve welfare and education programs for poor whites, which he viewed as necessary for social order. He opposed the in the 1920s and supported what later became Hampton University. Yet Copeland became a strong backer of harsh segregation laws in his later years. He joined forces with John Powell, founder of the Anglo-Saxon Clubs, and supported the 1924 . Two years later Copeland and his newspapers crusaded for what became the Massenburg Bill, the strongest segregation law in the United States.