Holi festival 2013. Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08.

Pioneer in journalism Chuck Stone ’48 remembered

[Chuck Stone '48]Fiery journalist and cause crusader Chuck Stone '48 passed away at age 89 last Sunday.

Chuck's immense contributions to the worlds of journalism and activism - as a columnist, professor, author, editor and civil rights activist - continue to resound. He was a founding member and president of the National Association of Black Journalists, a journalist and professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina.

Over his lifetime, Chuck was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame, and awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Chuck served in WWII before attending Wesleyan. He spoke at Commencement in '48 and received an MA in Sociology from the University of Chicago, before embarking on a groundbreaking career.

The following is from an article in the New York Times:

Chuck Stone, whose columns for The Philadelphia Daily News denouncing racism, political corruption and police brutality inspired such trust that wanted criminals sometimes surrendered to him rather than to the police and the authorities called on him to mediate prison crises, died on Sunday in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 89.

Mr. Stone, who was a writer and editor for The Daily News from 1972 to ‘91, was the paper’s first black columnist and among the founders, in 1975, of the National Association of Black Journalists. He was also its first president.

His subject range was expansive as well — national and local politics, black history, civic and individual morality and always issues of race. Earlier in his career, when he worked for black newspapers in New York, Chicago and Washington — he covered the White House for The Washington Afro-American during the Kennedy administration — he was a fierce advocate for civil rights and black power.

“Chuck Stone was a product of his own design,” Elmer Smith, a member of The Daily News editorial board, wrote after Mr. Stone’s death, adding: “He didn’t study journalism. Objectivity was a polite convention that he didn’t have time for. He was a cause crusader because that’s what his people needed.”

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Image: c/o AP

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