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Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts, Jr., is a retired columnist for The Miami Herald. His twice-weekly column, syndicated nationally to more than 200 newspapers, was one of the most popular in the country. In 2004, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary for what the judges called “fresh, vibrant columns that spoke, with both passion and compassion, to ordinary people on often divisive issues."

Pitts has been writing professionally since 1976, when, as an 18-year-old junior at the University of Southern California, he began doing reviews and profiles for SOUL, a national Black entertainment tabloid. Two years later, he was its editor. In the years since then, Pitts’ work has appeared in publications such as TV Guide, Reader’s Digest, and Parenting.

In addition, he wrote, produced and syndicated Who We Are, an award-winning 1988 radio documentary on the history of Black America, and has written and produced numerous other radio programs on subjects as diverse as Madonna and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also a writer for radio's popular countdown program, “Casey's Top 40 with Casey Kasem.”

In addition to the Pulitzer, Pitts work has also been honored by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, The Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, GLAAD Media, the Press Club of Atlantic City and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, among many others.

Leonard Pitts, Jr., has received four honorary doctorates, is an in-demand public speaker, and has taught at Ohio University, Hampton University, American University, George Washington University, the University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Princeton University.

Leonard Pitts, Jr. is the author of five celebrated novels: Before I Forget, Freeman, Grant Park, The Last Thing You Surrender and 54 Miles. Born and raised in Southern California, he makes his home with his family in Bowie, Maryland.

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Twitter: @leonardpittsjr1 and