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Lecture-Concert Series presents Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts

Oct. 26, 2007 -
- Leonard Pitts Jr., nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, will be the featured speaker in the seventh event of  Arkansas State University’s 2007-2008 Lecture Concert Series. Pitts, a regular on The Jonesboro Sun editorial page, is one of the nation’s most widely read and beloved national newspaper columnists.

Pitts will present a lecture, “What Works” on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in ASU’s Student Union Auditorium. Leonard Pitts’ appearance is co-sponsored by ASU’s Office of Diversity, the College of Communications, and The
Jonesboro Sun.

Leonard Pitts began his university career at age 15 through a special honors program at the University of Southern California. He began writing profession
ally in 1976 when, as an 18-year-old college student, he began doing freelance reviews and profiles for Soul, a national black entertainment tabloid. Two years later, he was its editor. He graduated at 19 with a degree in English and has written for publications as diverse as the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Oui, Musician, Billboard, Essence, TV Guide, Parenting, and Reader’s Digest.

Pitts has also written for a wide range of radio programs, including Los Angeles’ all-news stations KFWB and KNX, the black entertainment radio newsmagazine Radioscope, for which he was co-creator and editor, and Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40.” He was hired by the Miami Herald in 1991 as its pop music critic, winning three National Headliner awards and an award from the American Society of Sunday and Feature Editors. In 1994, he became a general columnist for Knight Ridder News Service and the Miami Herald, writing about race, social issues, current affairs, pop culture, and family life. His 1999 book, “Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood” became a national bestseller.

In 1993, Pitts was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in commentary. He is also the winner of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Green Eyeshade Award and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Award of Excellence. In 1997, Pitts took first place for commentary in division four (newspapers with a circulation of over 300,000) in the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors' Ninth Annual Writing Awards competition. He won Pulitzer’s second place for serious commentary in both 1997 and 1999, and in 2000, he won the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) award for commentary. He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004. Pitts has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, among others. He is also a five-time recipient of the National Headliners Award.

For more details, contact Dr. Gil Fowler, associate dean for the Honors College, at (870) 972-2308 or via e-mail at, or visit

The Lecture-Concert Series presents diverse programs to enrich the cultural life of the campus, community, and region.



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