seal  Purdue News

January 6, 2004

Acclaimed black journalist visits Purdue for MLK Day

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – George E. Curry, editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service and Black Press, will speak at Purdue University at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 in Fowler Hall about civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

"Dr. Curry has a reputation as an exciting speaker who inspires and challenges his listeners," says Alysa Rollock, vice president of human relations, the office sponsoring the event. "In his syndicated column, he shows his tenacity in facing and exploring controversial and timely issues, and he applies those same qualities in his speaking engagements. The topic of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an inspiring one. I am sure that anyone fortunate enough to come listen to Dr. Curry will come away with a new perspective."

Curry's weekly column is syndicated by the National Newspaper Publishers Association to more than 200 African-American newspapers and has a combined readership of 15 million. He has covered a wide range of topics and issues including the U.S. Supreme Court and the recent Gulf War. While in the Persian Gulf covering America's war with Iraq, Curry obtained the first exclusive interview with Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks after the fall of Baghdad.

Curry, who was editor-in-chief of "Emerge: Black America's Newsmagazine" from 1993 until June 2000, is a past president of the American Society of Magazine Editors and was the first African-American and non-New York based editor to hold the association's top office.

He was chief of the "Chicago Tribune's" New York bureau and was the Knight-Ridder newspaper's Washington correspondent. Before joining the "Tribune," he was a reporter for the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" and Sports Illustrated.

He also covered the 1984 presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson and the vice presidential campaigns of Geraldine Ferraro and the elder George Bush. He accompanied Jackson to Rome for an audience with Pope John Paul II and covered the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and the vice presidential campaign of Al Gore.

Curry is listed in "Who's Who in America," "Who's Who Among Black Americans" and "Outstanding Young Men of America." He is the author of "Jake Gaither: America's Most Famous Black." He is the editor of "The Affirmative Action Debate," "The Best of Emerge" and is editor of an anthology to be published in early fall with the working title "Fit to Print? Jayson Blair, the New York Times and Twenty-First Century Journalism." Curry also contributed to Walter Mosley's anthology "Black Genius: African American Solutions To African American Problems."

Born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Curry graduated from Druid High School and attended Knoxville College in Tennessee, Harvard and Yale.

He has appeared on the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," "The Today Show," "20/20," "Good Morning America," CNN, C-SPAN, BET, Fox Network News and MSNBC.

Voted the 2003 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, he is on the organization's list of Most Influential Black Journalists of the 20th Century.

Curry's speech is one of four events scheduled in January on the Purdue campus to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Other events include a drive to collect items for the Lafayette Food Finders Food Bank, a day of community service, and workshops on diversity.

Writer: Reni Winter, (765) 496-3133,

Source: Alysa Rollock, (765) 494-5830

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: George Curry will be available for media interviews after his talk. Prior to his arrival, phone interviews can be arranged by calling Janice Beard, administrative assistant to Purdue's vice president of human relations, at (765) 494-5830 or A publication-quality photograph of Curry is available at

Related Web site:
Purdue Office of Human Relations

Related release:
Purdue honors Martin Luther King Jr. in monthlong event series

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