Luther Jackson Jr., Pioneer Black Journalist, Dies At 83

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By: E&P Staff

Luther P. Jackson Jr., a pioneer black journalist first at mainstream dailies and then in academia, died Tuesday in The Bronx, N.Y. at age 83.

Jackson, whose son, Luther Jackson III, is executive officer of the San Jose (Calif.) Newspaper Guild, was the one of the first black reporters at the old Newark (N.J.) Evening News and The Washington Post, and the first-ever African American to become a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Among his students, according to an account in Richard Prince’s “Journal-isms” newsletter on the Maynard Institute Web site, were Reginald Stuart, a recruiter for The McClatchy Co.; Lena Williams, a longtime New York Times reporter; and Gayle Pollard Terry, who recently retired from The Los Angeles Times.

Jackson died of complications of Parkinson’s disease staff writer Beth Fitzgerald reported in an obituary in The Star Ledger of Newark.

A Chicago native, Jackson was a Marine who served in the Pacific theater during World War II. He graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in 1951.

He worked at the Newark Evening News from 1955 to 1958, and then at the Washington Post until 1963.

Jackson worked in public relations for IBM, and in 1968 joined the faculty at Columbia. He retired in 1992.

A son, Lee Jackson, predeceased Luther Jackson Jr. in 1996 in the Croatian plane crash that also killed U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.

Visitation will be 9 a.m., Saturday, April 26, followed by a 10 a.m. funeral service at Lee’s Funeral Home, 160 Fisher Ave., White Plains, N.Y.


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