N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame
Penelope Muse Abernathy (1998)
John B. Adams (1989)
Bob and Peggy Allen (2006)
Bonnie Angelo (1995)
Louis Austin (2006)
James K. Batten (1990)
Henry Belk (1987)
Jack Betts (2006)
Furman Bisher (1985)
David Brinkley (1989)
Jane Brown (2013)
Jennie Buckner (2007)
W. C. "Mutt" Burton (1994)
Orville Campbell (1993)
Wallace Carroll (1986)
W. Horace Carter (1983)
W.J. Cash (1986)
Lenoir Chambers (1991)
Jack Claiborne (2001)
Reese Cleghorn (1996)
Beatrice Cobb (1985)
O.J. "Skipper" Coffin (1982)
Richard Cole (2005)
Willard Cole (1992)
Richard Curtis (1997)
Clifton Daniel (1982)
Frank A. Daniels (1991)
Frank Daniels Jr. (1996)
Frank Daniels III (2012)
Jonathan Daniels (1985)
Josephus Daniels (1981)
Burke Davis (1984)
James Davis (2008)
Betty Debnam (1999)
Birdie Lee Speight Debnam (2003)
Harriet Doar (1993)
Joseph C. Doster Jr. (1993)
James Edward "Bill" Dowd (2001)
Jim Dumbell (1998)
Vivian Austin Edmonds (1988)
Simmons Fentress (1998)
J.D. Fitz (1986)
Fred J. Flagler (2005)
Ashley B. Futrell (1991)
Mary Garber (1992)
Kays Gary (1986)
David E. Gillespie (1989)
Harry Golden (1983)
James Goodmon (1997)
Bill Green (2012)
Ron Green (1998)
Brodie S. Griffith (1989)
Ferrel Guillory (2007)
Margaret Harper (1987)
Lou Harris (1988)
Charles Hauser (2000)
Chris Hondros (2013)
Lawrence "Jeep" Hunter (2004)
Marjorie Hunter (1992)
James F. Hurley III (1991)
Dot Jackson (2010)
R. Edward Jackson (1995)
Jay Jenkins (1990)
T.C. Jervay (1999)
Gerald W. Johnson (1984)
William Davis Jones Jr. (1994)
Karen Jurgensen (2001)
Carl Kasell (2004)
Larry Keith (2001)
Charles Kuralt (1981)
Harvey Laffoon (2002)
Tom Lassiter (1982)
William C. Lassiter (1984)
Nell Lewis (2000)
Neil Luxon (1987)
Malcolm Mallette (2002)
Doug Marlette (2002)
Jeff MacNelly (1985)
Robert Mason (1987)
Bill McIlwain (2004)
Sam S. McKeel (1994)
C.A. "Pete" McKnight (1981)
Philip Meyer (2008)
Joseph Mitchell (2011)
Roger Mudd (1983)
Alan Murray (2013)
Rolfe Neill (1988)
Herb O'Keef (1988)
Roy H. Park (1990)
Karen L. Parker (2012)
Roy H. Parker Jr. (1999)
Walter Phillips (2002)
Rose Post (1996)
Erwin R. Potts (1993)
Dwane Powell (2013)
Gene Price (2011)
Bob Quincy (2005)
Sam Ragan (1984)
Dorothy Ridings (1997)
Peter Ross Range (1998)
Gene Roberts (1984)
Wyndham Robertson (2013)
Steed Rollins (1996)
Charlie Rose (1999)
Morris W. Rosenberg (1989)
Vermont Royster (1981)
Robert Ruark (2009)
Reed Sarratt (1985)
Ellen Scarborough (2004)
Andrew "Mac" Secrest (2007)
Donald Shaw (2012)
Ray Shaw (2010)
Don Shoemaker (1982)
James H. Shumaker (1989)
Claude Sitton (1987)
John Skipper (2012)
Irwin Smallwood (1990)
Doug Smith (2013)
William D. Snider (1983)
A.C. Snow (1993)
Walter Spearman (1983)
Hugh Stevens (2006)
Pat Stith (2005)
Larry Stogner (2010)
Chuck Stone (2011)
Don Sturkey (1991)
Sam Summerlin (1987)
Elizabeth Gold Swindell (1994)
M.S. Van Hecke (1992)
David J. Whichard II (1995)
Tom Wicker (1981)
Ed Williams (2011)
Jon Witherspoon (2005)
John Woestendiek (2003)
William Woestendiek (1997)
Jonathan Yardley (1990)
Ed Yoder (1985)
David A. Zucchino (1995)
Penelope Muse Abernathy distinguished herself as a leader in developing the New York Times’ business strategy.
Abernathy, 46, was born in Laurinburg, N.C., and is a 1973 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received her M.B.A. from Columbia University in New York City in 1985.
Before joining The Times, she was an editor with The Dallas Times Herald, The Charlotte Observer, The Wichita Eagle-Beacon and The Fayetteville Times. At The Fayetteville Times, she won the first of three Penney-Missouri Awards given in consecutive years to its Lifestyle section.
She joined The New York Times in June 1989 as a corporate planning analyst and became business manager of The Times' then 1,000-member news department with its three dozen foreign bureaus and two dozen domestic bureaus.
Thereafter, she was named vice president of planning, responsible for setting The Times' overall business strategy. She then served as senior vice president of planning and human resources until 1997, where she was responsible for coordinating The Times' development of staff resources with the requirements of the business strategy and plans.
Serving as senior vice president of planning in 1997, she was responsible for coordinating planning between business and news for the paper's redesign in 1997, the introduction of the Northeast Edition and the aggressive expansion of the National Edition.
In December 1997, she was named president of The New York Times News Services, a new division of The Times that includes The New York Times Syndication Sales Corp., Times News Service, TimesFax, Licensing and Royalties, Photo Archives, Book Development, Large Print Weekly and Crossword Product Development.
John B. Adams, a New Jersey native, spent 27 years as a professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism, including 10 years as dean. Adams' dedication to teaching young journalists and contributions to UNC-Chapel Hill's journalism program were exceptional.
Jack Adams started his mass communication career when he enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley at 31. Prior to entering college, he was European sales manager for an American glass company and a real estate broker. He served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
Adams graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors from Berkeley in two years. Within four more years, he had received master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, he worked as a copy editor and reporter at The Wisconsin State Journal. He soon became interested in journalism education, first teaching at Michigan State University. In 1958 he came to the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism as a specialist in mass communication law. He was dean of the School from 1969 to 1979 and retired in 1985.
He received a teaching-excellence award from UNC-Chapel Hill, the Chancellor's Award for Service to Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and the Sigma Delta Chi Award at UNC-Chapel Hill for his work in freedom of information.
Adams was president of the American Association of Schools and Departments of Journalism and served on the executive committee of the International Association for Mass Communication Research and the N.C. News Media Administration of Justice Council in North Carolina.
The Allens established a family tradition at the Wake Weekly after they bought the paper in the early 1950s. Bob Allen sold advertising and managed the paper’s business activities; Peggy Allen managed the paper’s editorial activities. During their tenure, the weekly was consistently recognized as one of the best community newspapers in North Carolina.
The career of Bonnie Angelo at Time magazine is studded with firsts. In 1978 she became London bureau chief and was the first woman to head a major foreign Time bureau. In 1985, she became the first woman to head a major U.S. Time bureau in New York City, and in 1990 she became the magazine's first correspondent at large, specializing in interview and profiles of major figures.
She was also the first woman president of the Association of American Correspondents in London and chaired the first international conference of the International Women's Media Foundation. She is recognized as a leader in the fight to end discrimination against female journalists.
During her years as a Washington correspondent, she covered presidents, prime ministers and royalty, political campaigns, summit conferences, manned space shots, the inaugurations of six presidents, the Kennedy funerals and Richard Nixon's resignation.
Angelo also served 10 years as weekly co-host of the Washington, D.C., TV program, "Panorama." In London, she participated frequently on BBS and Independent Television programs and on BBC World Service Radio. At the invitation of the U.S. Information Service, she lectured widely in Europe and Africa about U.S. issues and American media.
Louis Austin bought the Carolina Times, an African-American newspaper in Durham, in 1927. He edited and published the paper until his death in 1971. Austin and the Carolina Times were vocal champions for the rights of blacks.
Austin was the president of the Durham branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and helped found the Durham Committee on Negro Affairs. A graduate of the National Training School – now N.C. Central University – Austin worked for the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. before starting his journalism career. His daughter, Vivian Austin Edmonds, was inducted to the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame in 1988.
James K. Batten was chair and chief executive officer of Knight-Ridder Inc.
Born in Suffolk, Va., Batten graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor's degree in 1957 and from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1962. He completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School in 1981.
Batten began his newspaper career as editor of the college paper at Davidson. He worked as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer from 1957 to 1958 and from 1962 to 1965. He spent five years as a correspondent in Knight Ridder Newspapers' Washington, D.C., bureau, specializing in Southern politics and civil rights.
He was assistant city editor of the Detroit Free Press from 1970 to 1972 and executive editor of The Charlotte Observer from 1972 to 1975. Batten was named Knight-Ridder vice president for news from 1975 to 1980, senior vice president from 1980 to 1982, director in 1981, president in 1982, and chair and CEO in 1989.
Henry Belk began working at the Goldsboro News and News-Argus in 1926 and was named editor of the News-Argus in 1949.
He retired in 1968 at age 70. Although hindered by poor eyesight and later blindness, he continued writing a column until six months before his death in 1972.
His talents earned high tribute from editors at The News & Observer in Raleigh, who, upon Belk's retirement, wrote: "It's good . . . that he will continue writing. Readers can expect in his column a continuation of the grace and goodwill, as well as the good sense, that have marked his highly personal editorials over the years. . . . North Carolina is better for his presence."
Belk was president of the N.C. Press Association in 1950-51 and president of the Associated Press News Council in 1953. He studied at the Columbia University School of Journalism and began his journalism career as a reporter for the Monroe Journal and as a stringer for the Greensboro Daily News.
A lifelong North Carolina journalist, Jack Betts is known for his writing on politics and public affairs. He has been awarded four first-place awards for his editorials from the N.C. Press Association since 1993.
A 1968, graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Betts has worked as a reporter and correspondent for the Greensboro Daily News and the News & Record in Greensboro and editor of North Carolina Insight magazine. In 1992, Betts joined the Charlotte Observer’s editorial board. Betts has made contributions as an analyst for N.C. Public Television.
Furman Bisher, a native of Denton, N.C., and 1938 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, has written more than 600 magazine stories for Sports Illustrated, The Saturday Evening Post and other national publications. He is recognized for his work as sports editor of The Atlanta Journal and columnist for The Sporting News.
At 20, Bisher became editor of the Lumberton Voice. Later he worked for The High Point Enterprise and The Charlotte News, where he became sports editor in 1948.
Bisher was president of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association from 1974 to 1976. He was president of the Football Writers Association of America in 1959-60.
The author of seven sports books, Bisher has been cited 16 times by the Georgia Associated Press for sportswriting. In 1961, Time magazine named him one of the nation's five best columnists.
David Brinkley, a Wilmington, N.C., native, began his journalism career as a high school student writing for The Wilmington Star. He attended Vanderbilt University before service in the Army interrupted his studies.
In 1943, Brinkley got his first full-time broadcasting job: White House correspondent for NBC News. From that auspicious beginning, he spent almost 40 years with NBC radio and television.
Brinkley has reported on every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. He has covered every presidential election and nominating convention since 1952 and has reported many of the major national news events in recent history.
For most of the 1960s, he was co-anchor of "The Huntley-Brinkley Report," a network evening newscast that not only was exceedingly popular but also was considered first-rate broadcast journalism.
After Huntley retired, Brinkley remained at NBC as co-anchor with John Chancellor on the "NBC Nightly News" and later as a commentator for the program.
He moved to ABC in 1981 as host of the Sunday morning interview program, "This Week with David Brinkley." He retired as host of the show in 1996.
Brinkley has won every major broadcasting award, including 10 Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and the Radio and Television News Directors Association's "Paul White Award" for distinguished service to broadcast journalism.
Jane Brown retired as a professor from the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication in December 2012 after a career that spanned more than 30 years researching media and their affects on adolescent health.
She is the co-editor or co-authors of five books on adolescents’ health and the media, including “Sexual Teens, Sexual Media: Investigating Media’s Influence on Adolescent Sexuality” (2002), “Media, Sex and the Adolescent” (1992) and “The Media, Social Science and Social Policy for Children” (1985). She also is author of more than 60 book chapters and articles.
She has served on the boards of Advocates for Youth, the Trojan Sexual Health Advisory Committee, the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Children, Youth and Families and the research advisory board of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
While at UNC, Brown received the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award in 2011, the Faculty to Faculty Mentoring Award in 2008, the General Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award in 2006, the Cornelia Phillips Spencer Bell Award for service to the University in 2002 and the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Woman Award given by the Women’s Issues Network and the Carolina Women’s Center in 1999, among many others. She has chaired more than 30 doctoral committees, 35 master’s committees and seven undergraduate honors committees.
As vice president and editor of The Charlotte Observer for 11 years, Buckner provided editorial leadership to the newspaper’s 260 news professionals until her retirement in 2004. During her tenure as editor, the newspaper won numerous state and national awards and was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in public service.
Buckner was the first female top editor of The Charlotte Observer, as well as the first woman to serve as vice president of news for Knight Ridder. During her 35 years in journalism, Buckner also was managing editor of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, and she held a number of editing positions at The Detroit Free Press.
Mutt Burton joined the Greensboro Daily News in 1936 as the newspaper's one-person Rockingham County bureau in his native Reidsville. For nearly 57 years, his art and theater columns and, for almost 50 years, his Sunday op-ed page columns appeared in the Greensboro Daily News and The News & Record.
"Mutt's columns contained that lacking in so much of our journalism today—a human touch, a personal feel, a sense that the writer cares for his subjects and his readers," said Jim Jenkins, editorial writer for The News & Observer. "Try to find the egomania in Mutt's column and you'll not see it. Try to find a harsh or cruel edge—it isn't there."
In addition to writing about theater, Burton has graced the stage. For 50 years, he appeared in a variety of roles with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Theater, Parkway Playhouse and the Flat Rock Playhouse. He appeared in the 1979 film "Being There," which starred the late Peter Sellers. He also performed in a PBS production of "The Gardener's Son" and some educational films.
In 1981, UNC-G awarded Burton an honorary doctor of fine arts degree, and the N.C. Theater Conference awarded him its distinguished career award for lifetime service to theater.
A collection of Burton's columns, Christmas in My Bones, compiled by his granddaughter, Anna Morehead Nelson, was published by Down Home Press in 1991. He also has written a biography, H. Smith Richardson: Ideas into Action.
Campbell, publisher of The Chapel Hill Weekly and The Chapel Hill Newspaper from 1954 to 1987, died in 1989. He was a successful journalist, businessperson and civic leader. Hundreds of journalism students, including three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeff MacNelly, got their starts on Campbell's newspaper.
Born in Chesterfield, Ill., in 1919, Campbell graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1942. At Carolina, he was editor of The Daily Tar Heel and a member of the Golden Fleece.
Campbell was always a staunch supporter of the community, the University and the state. He never forgot the community aspect of local journalism. He received the Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award four times, the only person to be honored more than once. In 1984, the award recognized his efforts to raise $509,000 for the nearly bankrupt Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA.
Campbell converted The Chapel Hill Weekly to a daily in 1972, and during his tenure the paper received more than 150 state and national awards. He served as president of the N.C. Press Association in 1968. In 1985 he won the Distinguished Service Medal from the UNC-Chapel Hill General Alumni Association. In 1987 the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine gave Campbell its Distinguished Service Award.
He was always interested in music and recordings. In the late 1940s, he helped Andy Griffith get his start by recording "What It Was, Was Football" and helped George Hamilton IV begin his recording career by producing "A Rose and a Baby Ruth."
"Orville made an exceptional contribution to journalism through the years—as publisher, leader in the N.C. Press Association, and supporter of the University," said Claude Sitton, former editor of the Raleigh News & Observer.
Wallace Carroll studied journalism at Marquette University and graduated in 1928. He joined the United Press London bureau in 1929. By 1939, he was bureau manager and reported the German bombing of the city.
He also covered war action in the Soviet Union and was the first reporter to tour Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack. In 1942, he became director of the U.S. Office of War Information in London and an adviser to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 1949, Carroll joined the Winston-Salem Journal and The Sentinel as executive editor. Six years later, he became Washington, D.C., bureau editor for The New York Times.
In 1963, he returned to Winston-Salem as editor and publisher and retired in 1973.
W. Horace Carter founded the Tabor City Tribune in 1946, and with him as the sole member of the news and advertising staffs, it became the first weekly newspaper to win the Pulitzer Prize. The 1953 prize for "meritorious public service" recognized the newspaper's crusade against the Ku Klux Klan, which resulted in 62 Klan convictions, including the first in history. To read more about Horace Carter's battles with the Ku Klux Klan, click here.
A Stanly County native, Carter was editor of the Daily Tar Heel at UNC-Chapel Hill and was inducted into the Order of the Grail and the Golden Fleece.
He helped build Atlantic Publishing Company into a chain of seven newspapers and has published multiple books. He is known for his columns and editorials for the Tribune.
W.J. Cash worked on the Wake Forest University newspaper as a student and joined The Charlotte News in 1926 as a reporter. He later became assistant city editor and state editor for the News.
A prolific writer and editor, Cash wrote The Mind of the South, a book analyzing the region and its people.
"The Mind of the South stands alone in its time as a feat of historical synthesis and creative imagination," the late Joseph L. Morrison of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism wrote in his biography of Cash. "His book came upon the South like a sobering dash of cold water."
Cash received a Guggenheim fellowship before his death in 1941.
Chambers, who was born in Charlotte, N.C., spent his early years as a reporter on the Greensboro Daily News, becoming city editor and associate editor. In 1929, he joined the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot as associate editor under Pulitzer Prize-winner Louis Jaffe.
In 1944, Chambers became editor of the Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch before returning to The Virginian-Pilot as editor in 1950, succeeding Jaffe. He retired in 1962.
As editor, Chambers distinguished himself within the state, standing virtually alone in his opposition to Virginia's "massive resistance" to desegregation that in 1958 closed six secondary schools in Norfolk, along with schools in Charlottesville and Warren County. Chambers received a Pulitzer Prize in 1960 for his series of 10 editorials criticizing the school closings.
Chambers was also a noted historian and author. His two-volume biography of Stonewall Jackson was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in history, also in 1960, and is considered by some the definitive work on the Confederate leader.
Chambers graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1914. He continued his education at the Columbia School of Journalism in 1916-17, served in World War I, and returned to North Carolina as editor of the University's news bureau from 1919 to 1921.
His affection and concern for the South and his understanding of it earned him a national reputation as a Southern liberal. But his interests exceeded the regional. Shortly after the Korean war, he wrote: "There no longer is any Fortress America to retreat to, and maybe there never was. We play our part in the world, or the world will break us. We play our part guided by understanding and wisdom."
Jack Claiborne's illustrious career at The Charlotte Observer, which ran from 1949 to 1990, included his Saturday morning editorial column, "This Time and Place," which was devoted to local and state affairs and ran for 20 years. He also served as Washington, D.C., correspondent, copy desk chief, Carolinas editor, city editor, editorial writer and associate editor, among other positions at the Observer. Claiborne has held leadership positions with Park Communications and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Claiborne has written five books: Jack Claiborne's Charlotte; The Charlotte Observer, Its Time and Place, 1869-1986; Unto the Least of These, A Centennial History of Alexander Children's Center; Discovering North Carolina, A Tar Heel Reader; and The Crown of the Queen City, A History of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
He has also won countless awards, including N.C. Press Association awards for sportswriting, education reporting, newswriting, feature writing and editorial writing. His former roles in leadership include chair of the N.C. Humanities Council, chair of the N.C. Editorial Writers Conference and director of the Charlotte chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Reese Cleghorn began his journalism career at The Atlanta Journal, where he was a general assignment reporter from 1950 to 1952, principally in Wiesbaden, Germany. He was an editor and reporter with the Associated Press from 1954 to 1958 in New York and Atlanta. He became editor and co-publisher of The California Courier in 1958 and returned to the Journal two years later as assistant city editor, state news editor, editorial writer and associate editor.
In 1971 he became editorial-page editor for The Charlotte Observer, where his editorials were known for their courage, thoughtfulness and grace. In 1976 he became associate editor of the Detroit Free Press, and in 1981 he became a professor and dean of the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
Cleghorn is a life member and past president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers. He has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 1947 and served as Atlanta chapter president.
He is co-author of Climbing Jacob's Ladder, a book on the civil rights movement in the South. He has written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers, including American Journalism Review, The New York Times, The Economist, The Saturday Evening Post, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun.
He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Emory University in 1950 and his master's degree in public law and government from Columbia University in 1956.
Beatrice Cobb, a native of Morganton, N.C., taught school in Hickory and her hometown before entering a career in journalism. She was publisher of The Morganton News Herald from 1916 until her death in 1959. She was also secretary-treasurer of the N.C. Press Association for 37 years.
Her personal column, "Folks, Facts and Fancies," was widely quoted in the state press. Although she wrote a daily column, Cobb never learned how to use a typewriter and wrote all her copy by hand.
In 1934, she became North Carolina's representative to the Democratic National Committee and served until 1952.
Skipper Coffin is lauded as one of the most famous professors in the history of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism. He taught from 1926 to 1950, served as head of the department before the Department of Journalism became a school, and was named dean of the school from 1950 to 1953.
Coffin was first listed in Who's Who in America in 1928. He has worked in numerous positions as a reporter, editor, and columnist for North Carolina papers including the Asheboro Courier, The Charlotte Observer, The Raleigh Times, The Charlotte News and the Greensboro Daily News.
His publications included two books, Slavery in the Old South and State House Anthology. Coffin died in 1956.
Richard Cole served for 26 years as dean of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Under his guidance, the school attained national prominence. In national accreditation reports, the school was rated as “perhaps the best in the country.”
Cole also led the school to international prestige through programs in East Europe, Russia, Mexico, Cuba, Africa and the Middle East. In 1992, Cole received the Freedom Forum Medal for Distinguished Accomplishments in Journalism-Mass Communication Administration. Cole, at 50, was the youngest person to have received the award, which had been given only three times previously.
An author of one book and the editor of another, he has also written articles for the field’s leading journals. He holds a university-wide teaching excellence award at UNC-Chapel Hill and is one of the handful of people who have been president of both major national organizations in the field: the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. For seven years, he was vice president of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and was a vice president of the International Association for Mass Communication Research.
Cole, of North Wilkesboro, N.C., guided the Whitesville (N.C.) News-Reporter to a Pulitzer prize in the early 1950s for its unyielding editorial battle against the active Columbus County Ku Klux Klan.
"This was not just your rabble-rousing, hate-mongering activity but an effort on the part of a group of substantial redneck citizens to construct a significant power base," said James M. Harper of The State Port Pilot. "Cole recognized the danger early and chose to take on the KKK leaders." Despite resistance from citizens who threatened him and canceled subscriptions and advertising, Cole continued to wage war on the Klan. A subsequent FBI investigation led to the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of a dozen Klansmen. "More than any other person," Harper says, "Willard Cole was responsible for these results, [although] he never received full recognition for his strategic role in this fight."
Richard Curtis is a founding editor of USA Today. He was the chief architect of its dramatic style and innovative design when the newspaper was created in 1982. Today, as managing editor for graphics and photography, his work continues to influence thousands of editors, graphic artists and photographers throughout the world.
Curtis grew up in Hudson, N.C., and got his start in journalism as editor of The Technician, the student newspaper at N.C. State University. He graduated from N.C. State’s School of Design in 1972. He served as assistant managing editor for graphics and features of The (Baltimore) News American, and worked for the Miami News and the St. Petersburg Times in Florida before joining USA Today.
He is founder and past president of the Society for Newspaper Design, and the founding editor of the organization's quaterly journal, DESIGN. He was also a co-creator of the Freedom Forum's photojournalism flying shortcourse in Eastern Europe.
Clifton Daniel, a native of Zebulon, N.C., and 1933 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, was associate editor of the Daily Bulletin in Dunn in 1933-34, and a reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer from 1933 to 1937. He reported for the Associated Press in New York, Washington, D.C., Bern and London from 1937 to 1943, before moving to The New York Times in 1944, where he was a correspondent in Paris, the Middle East, Germany and the U.S.S.R.
He moved back to the Times' home base in 1955 and held such positions as assistant to the manager editor, 1957-59; assistant managing editor, 1959-64; and managing editor, 1964-69. He became associate editor in 1969 and served as Washington correspondent from 1973 to 1976.
Daniel received the Overseas Press Club award for best reporting abroad in 1955.
In 1967, addressing a U.S. Senate committee considering legislation to aid financially ailing papers, Daniels urged for "independent editorial voices in the community."
Daniels was a treasurer and then a director of the American Newspaper Publishers Association and was president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association in 1951. From 1964 to 1967, Daniels was a director of the Associated Press.
After his retirement from the Associated Press board of directors, the board saluted him as a "tough-minded newspaper executive... who brought to the board that spirit of self determination and independence so characteristic of his home state of North Carolina."
Daniels never ran for public office but was a behind-the-scenes worker, especially in local elections. After World War II, he was one of a group of businessmen who successfully worked for the council-manager form of government for Raleigh and helped recruit competent candidates for the City Council.
Daniels served as a leader in a number of civic organizations including the Raleigh Community Chest, of which he was president. He was chair of the State Board of Public Welfare from 1948 to 1957. He was also a trustee of UNC-Chapel Hill and was chair of the board of trustees of Rex Hospital for 25 years.
Frank Daniels was the fourth member of the Daniels family to be inducted into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame. He joined Josephus Daniels, his grandfather; Jonathan Daniels, his uncle; and Frank Daniels, his father—all of whom made significant contributions to North Carolina and to excellence in journalism.
He is also proud of the fact that more than 15 honorees in the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame and one in the N.C. Advertising Hall of Fame worked at The News & Observer or Raleigh Times during their careers.
Daniels was born in Raleigh, N.C., and received his bachelor's degree in history from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1953. In 1971, he became president and publisher of The News and Observer Publishing Company.
He has been president of the N.C. Press Association and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and chair of the American Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. Daniels has also shown a strong commitment to community service, working for organizations including the Triangle United Way, Rex Hospital, the Governor's Committee for a Competitive North Carolina and the UNC-Chapel Hill General Alumni Association. He has also been chair of the Greater Triangle Community Foundation, the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.
Frank Daniels III is the former vice president and executive editor of The (Raleigh) News & Observer, among other positions at the newspaper his family founded. Under his leadership, The N&O won many industry awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and became a leader in the transition to digital newsrooms and Internet publishing including launching one of the first Internet newspapers, nando.net, in 1993.
Daniels co-founded two Internet publishing companies and eventually acquired controlling interest in VitalSource Technologies, a digital textbook publishing company he sold to Ingram Digital, where he became chief commercial officer.
He then founded Wakestone Press, a Nashville-based publisher focusing on non-fiction stories. He is the editor for community engagement with The Tennessean, and he is a co-owner of The Pilot in Southern Pines, N.C.
With his induction, Daniels joins his father, Frank Jr., grandfather, Frank, and his great grandfather, Josephus, in the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame.
Jonathan Daniels, a native of Raleigh, received his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1921 and 1922 from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he edited The Daily Tar Heel. During the summers, he was a reporter for The News & Observer.
Although he passed the state bar examination, Daniels never practiced law, working instead as sports editor and Washington correspondent for The News & Observer. He moved to New York City to write for Fortune magazine in 1930 and published his first novel, Clash of Angels, which earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship that year.
In 1932, he returned to The News & Observer as associate editor, becoming editor the next year. Renowned for his liberal editorials, Daniels was called a progressive force in the state by The Charlotte Observer.
In 1970, he moved to Hilton Head, S.C., where he established Hilton Head Island Packet and contributed a weekly column to the paper. Daniels, who died in 1981, wrote dozens of books and articles, although he devoted much time to public service.
Josephus Daniels, born in Wilson, N.C., in 1862, began his career in journalism at age 19 as editor and publisher of the Wilson Daily Advance. Later he moved to Raleigh and spent a long and vigorous career as editor and publisher of The News & Observer. He served as secretary of the Navy in President Woodrow Wilson's cabinet and as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ambassador to Mexico. He died in 1948.
Burke Davis, of Durham, N.C., is perhaps best known for his books about the Civil War, including Sherman's March, a graphic portrayal of Sherman's 1865 march through the South. Another work, To Appomattox, won the Mayflower Cup award, which was given for the best nonfiction book in 1959. He won the N.C. Award in Literature in 1973.
Davis became North Carolina's first printer in 1749 when he brought the first printing press to the state. He published the state's first book, first newspaper and first magazine. He is known as "the father of journalism" in North Carolina.
He moved to North Carolina from Virginia after the N.C. General Assembly hired him to turn handwritten statutes into books for governmental use. He also printed currency, legislative journals and session laws. In his 33 years as a public printer, he printed at least 100 titles. Davis also printed the state's first non-legal book written by a North Carolinian, Clement Hall's "A Collection of Many Christian Experiences."
Davis served in the General Assembly, as a county sheriff, justice of the peace and commissioner of the Port of New Bern. Ben Franklin appointed him to open the state's first post office in 1755.
Debnam is a 1949 graduate of St. Mary's Junior College in Raleigh and a 1952 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. She holds a master's degree in education from Duke University.
She was teaching first grade when she convinced The News & Observer in Raleigh to start The Mini Page in 1969. The Mini Page quickly attracted acclaim as a multipurpose teaching tool. It addresses everything from U.S. history to endangered species, from good manners to Shakespeare. Today The Mini Page appears in about 500 newspapers in this country and abroad.
N.C. Gov. James B. Hunt said recently that Debnam "has contributed greatly to our efforts to ensure our children are aware of the issues that will significantly affect them now and in the future."
Among the many honors Debnam and The Mini Page have received are a remarkable 20 Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Educational Press Association of America.
Debnam is married to Richard Hunt, a former N&O reporter, U.S. Marine Corps colonel and Washington lobbyist.
Birdie Lee Speight Debnam was an amazing woman who was editor and publisher of an Eastern North Carolina weekly paper in Greene County for nearly three decades.
Her husband, Joseph Eppy Debnam, started the Standard Laconic in 1906. When Joseph died in 1934, Birdie Lee decided to fulfill her husband’s wish that she deep the paper going. She was 55 years old, the mother of six children and had little knowledge of the newspaper business except what she had gathered as she watched her husband at work.
Debnam’s family helped her to get started One of her sons, Douglas, took care of printing. On press night, her grandchildren would help fold the papers.
After five years, she took over the paper on her own. She was editor and publisher of the Standard Laconic for 28 years and became a familiar face on the streets of Snow Hill. She handled all of the duties of publishing the paper, including gathering the news, editing the copy and selling advertising and subscriptions.
“She was a journalist when few women single-handedly shouldered the responsibility for a community newspaper,” said Dave Whichard, former publisher of the Greenville Daily Reflector. “She continued well beyond normal retirement years to nourish her beloved newspaper, the community and the county it served.”
Debnam sold the paper to Whichard in 1962, when she was 83 years old. Debnam continued writing a column and selling subscriptions until 1968 when failing eyesight forced her to retire completely.
Debnam died in 1977 at age 97.
Doar, a native of Charlotte, N.C., is a pioneering journalist. She was a charter member and first president of the N.C. Women's Press Association, receiving statewide writing awards from that organization for eight consecutive years, 1964 to 1971.
Born in Charlotte in 1912, Doar graduated from Central High School and attended Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. She spent her career in Charlotte, working for The Charlotte Observer. Before her retirement in 1976, she was women's editor, book page editor, art and theater critic, editorial writer and columnist.
As the Observer's book page editor, Doar influenced the careers of many writers and established a high standard for literary quality in the South. As Ed Williams of the Observer observed, "Her pithy and wide-ranging columns showed her to be a wise and loving critic of her region and the writers who interpreted it."
She joined the Observer's editorial board in 1975. In 1982, Doar received the Sam Ragan Prize for outstanding contributions to the arts of North Carolina.
Jim Batten, former chair and CEO of Knight Ridder, has said: "Harriet was an extremely gifted pioneer in a business that was slow, as others were in the 1950s and 1960s, to give women a full chance at contribution and achievement. She was quietly devoted to her craft, and because her talent was so large, she became one of North Carolina's journalistic stars of her generation."
Doster was named publisher of The Winston-Salem Journal and The Sentinel in 1977, and president of Piedmont Publishing Co. in 1985.
Born on Aug. 4, 1928, in Rutherford County, N.C., he attended public schools there and Central High School. He began his career at The Charlotte Observer after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1956 with a degree in journalism. At the Observer, he covered local and county government before becoming a political reporter in 1962. He became assistant state editor in 1967.
He spent the next five years at The Winston-Salem Journal as its state capital correspondent in the Raleigh bureau. He moved to Winston-Salem as the Journal's managing editor in 1972.
A past president of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication Foundation and the N.C. Press Association, Doster has won several reporting awards from the N.C. Press Association, and the Journal won the first Duke University Award for Distinguished Reporting on Higher Education. He has been a member of the board and president of the N.C. First Amendment Foundation.
Doster is a well-respected and well-liked civic leader, having served on boards of the N.C. Institute of Political Leadership, Leadership Winston-Salem, Old Salem Inc., Forsyth County United Way and Upward Bound of Winston-Salem.
James Edward "Bill" Dowd was general manager of The Charlotte Observer and vice president of Knight Publishing from 1955 until his death in 1966.
He joined Knight Publishing after serving as editor and as general manager of The Charlotte News, a paper his family owned from 1893 to 1947.
Dowd, who grew up in Charlotte, N.C., joined the News in 1928 and became editor in 1932. During his time with the paper, he established a reputation for direct, candid expression and realistic analysis of community concerns in Charlotte and North Carolina. In 1937, he spearheaded and directed an assessment of slums in Charlotte, which resulted in the establishment of the Housing Authority in 1938. His editorials regularly assailed crime, air pollution and poverty.
In 1944 Dowd's interest in community improvement prompted him to establish The Charlotte News Man of the Year Award. He was a founder and former president of the Charlotte City Club and a member of the 1965 City Charter Review Commission. Dowd also served as a director of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and director of Charlotte's Goodwill Industries. He helped establish a program of productive employment for people with disabilities.
Jim Dumbell was The Charlotte Observer's most senior staff member when he retired in 1988. A talented photographer and writer, Dumbell spent 48 years at The Observer, capturing the Carolinas with pictures and stories.
Dumbell began taking pictures at age 12 and was a prize-winning professional by 20. He dropped out of UNC-Chapel Hill in 1940 during his sophomore year, seeking more excitement than college classes could offer.
A year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dumbell was drafted into World War II and worked in the Pacific still- and motion-picture photography unit out of Hawaii until the war's end. He returned to The Observer and was continually recognized with state and regional awards for his photographs. He moved up to become chief photographer, heading an expanding staff of prize winners.
Tiring of administration, Dumbell transferred from his position as chief photographer and turned to writing and editing, pairing unique stories with photographic art. Always in search of the unusual, he roamed the Carolina coast and mountains to find stories of little-known individuals and communities.
After covering the 40th anniversary of D-Day in France in 1984, Dumbell was given a special slot as travel writer, where he covered everything from weekend jaunts in the Carolinas and New England to Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico. His travel stories were syndicated to more than 100 newspapers nationwide.
Dumbell has won first-place awards for his photography from the National Press Photographers Association and the N.C. Press Association.
A native of Durham, N.C., Vivian Austin Edmonds assumed ownership of The Carolina Times, the state’s oldest black-owned newspaper, in 1971 after the death of her father, Louis Austin. He started the paper in 1922.
Edmonds, who has held every staff position on the paper, graduated from N.C. Central University in 1948. She worked on the newspaper for several years before returning to NCCU to earn a master's degree in guidance and counseling. She was a guidance counselor for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools for more than 12 years before assuming full-time management of The Carolina Times.
Among her honors are the Living Legacy Award from Shaw University and an Outstanding Woman Award through the Durham YWCA's Women of Achievement program. She has also won recognition from Boy Scouts of America, Durham Chapter of Squaws, Iota Phi Lambda sorority and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
In a 20-year career at Time magazine, Simmons Fentress covered some of the biggest stories of the 1960s and 1970s.
Fentress was born in Maribel, N.C., in 1926 and graduated from Wake Forest College in 1945.
He began his journalism career as a copy editor and political reporter for The News & Observer in Raleigh, where he chronicled the rise of Governor Terry Sanford. He was then hired as an editorial writer at The Charlotte Observer. He was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University for the 1957-58 academic year and studied race relations.
In 1961, Fentress became the Atlanta bureau chief for Time magazine and covered the civil rights revolution brewing in the South. He then moved to Time's Washington, D.C., bureau, where he covered the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren, and the Justice Department, then headed by Robert Kennedy.
In 1966, he was made chief of Time's Saigon bureau during the height of the Vietnam conflict. Chosen for his careful, diligent reporting, Fentress followed in the wake of two Saigon bureau chiefs who had resigned in protest, arguing that Time wasn't running stories critical of the war effort. After several months on the job, Fentress came to agree with the previous editors and convinced Time to change its perspective on the war. His role is discussed in David Halberstam's history of the press and politics, The Powers That Be.
When he returned to Washington, D.C., as a political correspondent in 1967, Fentress followed Richard Nixon on the campaign trail. He was then assigned to cover Nixon's first two years in office as White House correspondent. He later covered Nixon's demise in the Watergate scandal.
Fentress served as political correspondent until 1975, when he became a general assignment reporter, covering the CIA. He was a mentor to many young journalists during his 20 years at Time magazine. He died of cancer in 1981.
J.D. Fitz began work in the backshop of The Reidsville Review at age 12. For more than 50 years, he worked in almost all aspects of the newspaper business.
In the 1930s and 1940s, he worked at the Greensboro Daily News, the Shelby Daily Star, The Daily Independent in Kannapolis and the Cleveland Times. Following World War II, he went to the Morganton News Herald. He became publisher of both the News Herald and The Valdese News in 1960 and retired in 1980.
Fitz was president of the N.C. Press Association in 1971.
Fred J. Flagler joined the Winston-Salem Journal as assistant city editor in 1955. When he retired 36 years later as the paper’s associate managing editor, he had presided over coverage of race riots, struggled through the murder of a reporter and helped win the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Flagler was highly regarded for his care for reporters who worked for him.
Flagler graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1946. He held positions with both the Statesville (N.C.) Record and the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise before joining the Journal. He was named managing editor of the Journal in 1962 and took the same position with the Journal’s sister publication, the Twin City Sentinel, in 1972. In the 1960s, Flagler insisted that the Journal cover the race riots in the city accurately, despite calls from local politicians to downplay the story. The Journal’s coverage of potential strip mining in the North Carolina mountains won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971. Flagler also presided over the Sentinel’s newsroom on Aug. 10, 1984, when Deborah Sykes, a copy editor, did not show up for work. Sykes had been raped and murdered not far from the newsroom. Flagler led the paper through the crisis.
The Sentinel shut down operations in 1985, just 36 days short of its 100th birthday. Flagler returned to the Journal as its third-ranking news executive and retired in 1991.
Futrell is editor and publisher emeritus of the Washington (N.C.) Daily News, which received the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service, the highest Pulitzer of all.
The prize was given for a series of articles about the contamination of the city's water system by cancer-causing chemicals. The newspaper revealed that the local water contained high levels of carcinogens and that city officials had known this for years but regarded it as a problem to be solved someday by building a new water plant. The news broke a month before voters were to select a mayor and city council.
In addition, under Futrell's leadership the News received the N.C. Press Association's highest honor, the public service award, in 1959, 1962 and 1989. No other paper of its size has ever won the award three times.
A 1933 graduate of Duke University, he received numerous awards from the NCPA, including best editorials in 1956, 1959 and 1975 and best feature writing in 1960.
Futrell began his journalism career as a reporter for the Wilson Daily Times before becoming editor and publisher of the News in 1949. He worked in that capacity until 1982, when he became publisher emeritus.
One of Futrell's major accomplishments in the state Senate was his work in making the medical school at East Carolina University into a medical center for the eastern part of the state.
Futrell was president of the Eastern N.C. Press Association in 1956-57 and was president of the N.C. Press Association in 1960.
Futrell's many other awards include the NCPA's community service award in 1959 and 1962 and the N.C. School Bell Award by the N.C. Education Association in 1962.
Futrell has served as president of the Wilson Jaycees and is a lifetime member of the Washington Jaycees. He has twice served as president of the Greater Washington Chamber of Commerce and received that organization's Community Service Award in 1979.
Garber began writing sports for the Winston-Salem Sentinel and Journal in 1944, after serving as the paper's society editor and a staff reporter for four years. Garber covered every sport, including Atlantic Coast Conference football and basketball during her 50-year tenure. She retired in 1986.
As the only female sportswriter in the region for her first 30 years with the paper, Garber was inventive with her coverage, because she was not allowed in dressing rooms. Many players and coaches appreciated her enthusiasm, expertise and genuine interest, and they went out of their way to help her collect quotes and interviews. For many years, Garber was also barred from all the major sportswriting associations, although she eventually became president of Atlantic Coast Sportswriters.
Garber was committed to publicizing black athletes and sports events during the early phase of her career, something few other white writers, male or female, did.
"There were two different worlds then, white and black," Coach Clarence "Bighouse" Gaines of Winston-Salem State University told Diane Gentry of the Washington Press Club Foundation in 1990. "Most news about black people ended on the Sunday newspaper's colored page. We had outstanding athletes here, and Mary came to write about them when no one else cared. She was always trying to help the underdog."
Kays Gary, a 1942 UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus, began his journalism career as sports editor and columnist for The Shelby Daily Star in 1945 after a three-year stint as a military police officer in World War II.
He went to The Charlotte Observer in 1952 as a city reporter, and in the late 1950s he began writing his column, which championed common people and their problems.
Observer metropolitan editor Foster Davis called Gary "the St. Jude of journalism." He said Gary "has been the court of last resort for countless North Carolinians. He sometimes got 30 to 50 telephone calls a day."
David E. Gillespie retired in 1987 after a career that spanned almost 50 years on N.C. newspapers.
Born in Gaston County, Gillespie began his newspaper work in 1939 as sports editor of The Gastonia Gazette. After 42 months in service during World War II, Gillespie came back to that paper and worked his way up to managing editor.
In 1951 he started his own newspaper, The Gaston Citizen, and was its editor and publisher for five years until it ceased publication.
In 1956 he spent a year as Sunday editor for The High Point Enterprise before becoming editor of The Shelby Daily Star, a job he held four years. The Star won several N.C. Press Association awards during Gillespie's tenure, including his award for editorial writing.
The Charlotte Observer hired Gillespie as associate editor and director of the editorial pages in 1961. During 11 of the most turbulent years in the state's recent history, Gillespie's strong editorial leadership contributed to the successful desegregation of Charlotte and the surrounding area.
Gillespie joined the newly formed Southern Growth Policies Board in Research Triangle Park in 1972. As director of administration and later director of intergovernmental affairs, he spent five years working to get the interstate organization established.
In 1977 Gillespie joined The News and Observer as editorial writer and columnist. Among his state press awards for editorial writing were four in succession from 1983 to 1986. He was also one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 1985.
Gillespie was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and active on its committees for many years. He has been a member of the National Conference of