If you are a reader of the Washington Post, then you may be familiar with columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner William Raspberry who worked his way up from being a teletype operator in 1962 to becoming a nationally syndicated columnist. Raspberry who as been with the Washington Post for over 40 years announced his retirement in his weekly article Dec 12, 05 so that he could focus on bigger things in his life in addition to leaving at a time where he was on top. Although Raspberry’s will be retiring, it appears that he will remain quite busy focusing his time on a childhood education initiative called Baby Steps in addition to holding his Knight Professorship of the Practice of Communications and Journalism at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University.
During the 1965 Watts Riot, Raspberry excelled as national journalist, reporting on the story with a perspective that was overlooked by his colleagues. Since then Raspberry has focused most of his talents reporting & offering commentary on issues such as poverty, drugs, racism and parenting, criminal justice, & other various minority themes. During a recent NPR interview, Raspberry stated when he was starting out, he has to find a way to distinguish himself from other journalist but could not think of anything. Then out of nowhere he figured that he had several decades of experience as a Black American, so he choose to focus on that because his competition could not touch that.
The Baby Steps program that Raspberry fully funds & owns program basically has the idea that all parents, no matter how unsuccessful they might have been in school or economically changed they are now, want their children to succeed academically; even if many of them don’t know how to make that happen.” Moreover this program seeks to instill values in poor & underprivileged parents that their white counterparts have in place which make (possibly in my opinion) their children more successful in preschool & kindergarten.
- Journalist of the Year by Capital Press Club in 1965
- Pulitzer Prize 1994
- Honorary degrees from Georgetown, University of Maryland, and University of Indianapolis, in 1982
- National Association of Black Journalists Member
- Pulitzer Prize Board Member
- Capital Press Club Member