Press Correspondents and Journalists

What African American was the first to head the Los Angeles Times?

The first black journalist to lead a top newspaper in United States was Dean P. Baquet (1956–). Baquet, who had already made a name for himself with the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, took the number two spot at the Los Angeles Times—that of managing editor. In 2005 he was appointed editor of the paper and became the first black to head a major mainstream newspaper. He left that post in November 2006 and returned to the New York Times as chief of the Washington bureau and assistant editor. A native of New Orleans, Baquet studied at Columbia and Tulane Universities but gave up formal training without completing a degree. For seven years he did investigative reporting with the States-Item (later subsumed under the Times-Picayune) but left the New Orleans press in 1984 to join the Chicago Tribune. Later he became associate metropolitan editor for investigations. In 1988 Baquet shared a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting with fellow journalist Ann Marie Lipinski. He helped the paper receive thirteen Pulitzer prizes. He left the Tribune in 1990 and began investigative reporting for the New York Times, becoming deputy metro editor later on, and in 1995 national editor.


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