William Raspberry won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary and collected many other accolades during his long career at the Washington Post, but he never forgot his Mississippi roots. Just weeks after his death in July, Raspberry was recently the latest journalist to be celebrated posthumously in a program at the University of Mississippi’s Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.
Raspberry died July 17 at his home in Washington.
Raspberry, who was 76, joined the Washington Post in 1962 and quickly became one of the first African-American columnists in 1966. He won the Silver Em in 1976 and the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. In 1999, he also received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award, as well as an honorary doctor of laws degree from Colby College. Topics for his nationally syndicated column ranged from civil rights to his support of gay rights. A collection of his columns from the 1980s was published as a book, “Looking Backward at Us.” He retired from the Post in 2005 and later served as a journalism professor at Duke University.