Former ASNE Executive Director Dies at 70

By: Elaine Williams

Lee Stinnett, a former ASNE executive director, died Saturday at his home in Asheville, N.C., after a decade-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Stinnett earned both his bachelor?s and master?s degrees from the University of Kentucky in his native state, and then worked as a reporter for newspapers in New Orleans and Charlotte, N.C. After four years as a staff member at Emory University in Atlanta, he took on a variety of roles during an 11-year stint with the Southern Newspapers Publishers Association.

He joined ASNE in 1981 as project director, and two years later succeeded Gene Giancarlo to become the organization’s executive director. He served in that position for 16 years before retiring in 1999 and moving to Asheville.

Stinnett was awarded the Gerald M. Sass Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communication in 2003, an award presented by the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Stinnett also played a large role in forming the Council on Newspaper Education, which joined together the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and other print organizations in the mid-1980s.


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