Leonard Pitts Biography
Leonard Pitts (Leonard Garvey Pitts Jr.) is an American commentator, journalist, and novelist. He is a nationally syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He was originally hired by the Miami Herald to critique music, but he quickly received his own column in which he has dealt extensively with race, politics, and culture from a progressive perspective. He is famously known for his best writing skills and also as the best journalist.
Leonard Pitts Age
Leonard Pitts was born on October 11, 1957, in Orange, California, United States.
Leonard Pitts Net worth
Leonard Pitts earns his income from his businesses and other related organizations. He also earns his income from different sources like the Awards industry. He has an estimated net worth of $ 1 million dollars.
Leonard Pitts Education
Leonard Pitts attended John C. Fremont High School in California. He then joined the University of Southern California where he graduated BA, in English, 1977. After she finished school, she worked as a freelance writer and quickly found a market for his skills.
Leonard Pitts Family
Leonard Pitts was born in Orange, California, United States African-American parents. His father used to drink heavily, and left disputes escalate to gunfire, and was often unemployed to a drunken father. While Pitts was a student at USC, his father died of throat cancer.
Leonard Pitts Wife
In 198, Leonard Pitts married the object of a crush Marilyn Vernice Pickens. Before Marilyn marriage to Leonard, she had two children of her own. The couple went on to have three more children. He lives in suburban Washington, D.C., with his family.
Leonard Pitts Columnist
The syndicated commentaries of Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts are among the most widely read in the United States, appearing in about 150 newspapers. Pitts’s columns offer insightful commentary on the American experience, particularly the African-American experience.
Perhaps his most famous column was a stirring call to American unity penned the day after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Pitts drew on his own childhood as well as the lives of other African-American men in his bestselling book Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood. After several nominations, Pitts was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004.
Leonard Pitts Commentator, journalist, and novelist
began writing for the Los Angeles magazine Soul even while he was still in school and worked as an editor there in the late 1970s. For much of his career, Pitts was a music reviewer for publications ranging from Musician to Reader’s Digest. He supplemented his income by writing news and features for radio stations, working for Los Angeles station KFWB from 1980 to 1983.
He landed at a steadier radio job in the 1980s, serving as an editor for a program called Radioscope from 1983 to 1986 and as a staff writer for the music countdown show American Top 40 and its legendary host, Casey Kasem, from 1989 to 1991. He continued to take on freelance writing and production jobs, and as he navigated the complicated terrain of family life and began to reflect on his own background, his interests deepened.
He wrote scripts for several documentary films in the late 1980s: King: From Atlanta to the Mountaintop (1986), Who We Are (1988), and Young Black Men: A Lost Generation (1990). These films garnered several awards, and Pitts was hired as a music critic by the Miami Herald, one of the best-respected newspapers in the United States, in 1991.
At first, he continued on his award-winning ways. He wrote enthusiastically about various kinds of music and linking music to the wider cultural backgrounds in which it arose. Pitts was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1992 after having won National Headliners and American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors arts criticism awards the year before. He was also, however, entering his late 30s, a watershed that few careers concerned with youth culture survive.
Pitts’s moment of recognition came when he was attacked by a group of drunks at a concert by the Irish rock group U2 in 1994. The following year he made the switch to a new columnist’s slot at the Herald, writing about popular culture, race, and topics of general interest. Pitts’s new freedom as a writer once again brought him closer to his own roots. Addressing family life and the challenges he himself faced as a father of five,
Pitts reflected on the conflicted status of fatherhood among African American men in a country where roughly half of the black children were born to single mothers. Those reflections turned into Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, published by Longstreet in 1999. Because of his father, he wrote, “I am missing many things. Little pieces of myself that I ought to have.”
He mentioned, for example, that no one had ever taught him how to tie a necktie. Pitts traveled to his father’s birthplace in Mississippi and interviewed numerous other African American fathers, successful and unsuccessful, in the course of writing the book. Pitts wrote about race in about a quarter of his columns, but he was often identified with the issue after his column was picked up for syndication by the Knight Ridder News Service and became nationally popular.
A liberal-leaning independent, Pitts sometimes made his column into a lively dialogue forum, printing letters from his detractors. The column that took Pitts to celebrity level, however, dealt not with American divisions but with American unity. On September 12, 2001, Pitts faced the difficult task of addressing the terrorist attacks of the previous day. “It’s my job to have something to say,” His words were simple and galvanizing.
“Did you want us to respect your cause?” he asked the still unidentified planners of the attack. “You just damned your cause. Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.” He called the American people “a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political, and class division, but a family nonetheless.” On that day, he wrote, “the family’s bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans, we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.”
Over 30,000 e-mails flowed in (“I stopped counting,” Pitts told Editor & Publisher), and the columnist had to admit to mixed feelings on seeing the number of newspapers carrying his column jump by 10 percent. The column was circulated around the World Wide Web, reprinted in poster form, set to music, and widely quoted by politicians and television hosts.
It brought Pitts an award for outstanding commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a Columnist of the Year nod from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He has worked with the Soul magazine, Los Angeles, as a writer and editor, 1976-80; he is also a radio presenter at the KFWB radio station, Los Angeles, writer, 1980-83; Radioscope, Los Angeles, 1983-86; Westwood One, Inc., Culver City,
CA, writer, 1989-91; extensive freelance music journalism, the 1970s, and 1980s; Miami Herald, Miami, FL, music writer, 1991-95; columnist, 1995–; Scripps Howard Visiting Professional, Hampton University, Hampton, VA, 2004. He was selected by the National Association of Black Journalists, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, Florida Society of Newspaper Editors.
He has broadened his activities in the early 2000s. After genetic tests by the widely publicized African Ancestry firm identified Mende and Songhay forbears in his background, he traveled to West Africa, writing about his experiences as he went. Back in the United States, he continued to earn awards from a host of leading journalistic organizations. In 2004 he served as Scripps Howard Visiting Professional at Hampton University in Virginia, and by that time he was riding high on a reputation as one of black America’s most gifted communicators.
Leonard Pitts Fox News
Last week, the Democratic National Committee, citing a recent story in The New Yorker that painted the network as a propaganda machine for the Republican Party and its lamentable leader, said No. It pointedly disinvited Fox from hosting any of the forthcoming Democratic primary debates. That decision raised howls of protest from some observers. NBC’s Jonathan Allen tweeted that if Democrats boycott Fox, maybe it’s because they “don’t have good answers.”
Jack Shafer of Politico wrote that “Any politician who can’t hold his own against a journalist from the other team should be disqualified from running.” And CNN’s Anderson Cooper said the decision “seems shortsighted.” But all this hand wringing is precious, if not downright naive because this one isn’t even close. In being banned by the DNC, Fox is getting what Fox deserves. And here, let us stipulate two things: The first is that the DNC’s critics are right in calling the party disingenuous for tying its decision to The New Yorker piece.
Though the story supplied new color and detail, it told us little we didn’t already know about Fox’s incestuous relationship with the GOP and Donald Trump. Indeed, it’s worth noting that Fox actually hasn’t been allowed to host a Democratic debate in over 15 years. The second stipulation is that the critics are also right in pointing out that Fox does have some talented, tough-minded journalists, Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace prominent among them. But those two rights don’t make a wrong.
And to pretend the DNC’s disingenuousness or Smith’s journalistic credibility are mitigating factors here is to miss the point. Namely, that Fox does not deserve to be treated as a legitimate news organization because it violates journalistic norms on a daily, almost hourly, basis. Real news organizations frown on their reporters or pundits being cozy with political leaders. Fox doesn’t. They do not allow themselves to be used as platforms for racists, misogynists, and cranks.
Fox does. And no real news organization would ever as The New Yorker story alleges (and Fox denies) kill a scoop because it embarrassed a candidate. No, Fox is not as CNN’s Rick Santorum argued simply the conservative analog to left-leaning MSNBC. How many times has that network’s Rachel Maddow campaigned with a president, as Sean Hannity did in November? The answer is, she hasn’t. You see, MSNBC, for all its liberal tilt, is a news organization.
Fox is a propaganda machine that pretends to be a news organization when that suits its purposes. Yet these critics are implicitly asking the DNC and, by extension, us to forget all that, to legitimize and normalize Fox and to ignore what a bizarre outlier, what a clear and present danger it is. To which, the only patriotic answer is: No. That answer is given advisedly. Every day that passes only proves again how prescient Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson was 10 years ago when he wrote of Americans as a people undergoing “ a kind of spiritual secession from one another.”
To deny Fox, viewed by millions of mistaken Americans as a journalistic enterprise, the right to render this prestigious service to democracy can only exacerbate that sense of secession. But the alternative is to pretend the network is what it is not, to give it an imprimatur of respectability it manifestly does not deserve. So the DNC is right. And if Fox wishes to be treated like a legitimate news organization, its mandate is simple.
Leonard Pitts On-line
“Leonard Pitts, Jr.,” Biography Resource Center, www.galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC (June 19, 2005).
“Leonard Pitts, Jr.,” Tribune Media Services, www.tmsfeatures.com/tmsfeatures/byline.jsp?custid=67&bylineid=97 (June 19, 2005).
“The Pulitzer Prize Winners: 2004,” The Pultizer Prizes, www.pulitzer.org/year/2004/commentary/bio/ (June 19, 2005).
Leonard Pitts Awards
Pulitzer Prize nomination, 1992, 2000; National Association of Black Journalists, the award of excellence in commentary, 1994, 1995; National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Columnist of the Year, 2002; Scripps Howard Foundation, National Journalism Award, 2002; Pulitzer Prize, for commentary, 2004.