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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
Leonard Pitts began his university career at age 15 through a special
honors program at the University of Southern California.
He began writing professionally
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
For more details, contact Dr. Gil Fowler,
associate dean for the Honors College, at (870) 972-2308 or via e-mail
Lecture-Concert Series presents diverse programs to enrich the cultural
life of the campus, community, and region.
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