Louis Black is a co-founder of The Austin Chronicle, an alternative weekly newspaper published in Austin, Texas, and has been the newspaper's editor since its inception. He has written over 600 articles in his column in that newspaper. Black is also one of the co-founders of the South by Southwest Festival, also located in Austin, although the festival operates separately from the Chronicle. He also is a founding partner in Toronto's North by Northeast music and film festival.
Black was born in Teaneck, New Jersey where he was childhood friends with film critic Leonard Maltin and singer Phoebe Snow. Maltin and Black regularly prowled the rep cinemas of Manhattan as teens. He moved to Austin to study film at The University of Texas where he received a BFA in 1980, and became knowledgeable about B-movies, including the work of Russ Meyer. Black helped run film nights at the university before starting the Chronicle with film friend Nick Barbaro.
Black was an original board member of the Austin Film Society and is a past president of that organization. In 2000, Texas Monthly Editor Evan Smith and Black working with AFS established the Texas Film Hall of Fame.
He recently was executive producer of a documentary on Texan songwriter Townes Van Zandt. He also appeared in the documentary film The Devil and Daniel Johnston as Black was an early supporter of the Texan singer.