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Jack Nelson (journalist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jack Nelson
Born John Howard Nelson
(1929-10-11)October 11, 1929
Talladega, Alabama, USA
Died October 21, 2009(2009-10-21) (aged 80)
Bethesda, Maryland
Cause of death Pancreatic cancer
Occupation Journalist
Employer Los Angeles Times

John Howard "Jack" Nelson (October 11, 1929 – October 21, 2009) was an American journalist. He was praised for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, in particular, and he was described by New York Times editor Gene Roberts[a] as "one of the most effective reporters in the civil rights era."[2] He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1960.

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  • SDSU Jack Talk | Anne Koepp (Broadcast Journalism)
  • The Klan's Campaign Against the Jews: True Crime & Civil Rights in 1960s Mississippi (1993)
  • Meredith March Against Fear


If I did get a tattoo of SDSU, if you could put on your forehead that would be awesome, but I don't know if that would go over if I was working on television. The Broadcast Journalism Program is one that takes a lot of dedication; it takes a lot of the ambition. You really need to love what you're doing. We also get to meet a lot of people just by going out and doing stories for your professors and you get to work a lot with the people in your class, you get to know your class really well. You get to have that experience where you're working in a lab, in a studio, editing video, shooting video. The facilities that they have there and all of that equipment that's available for students is just awesome. I've been tutoring for three years now. I love that feeling of helping other students and I still have people that will come up to me and ask me for help with something even if they're not in for tutoring and that feeling is awesome. If you want to go to a school that is going to provide you with countless opportunities that is going to give you the opportunity to grow and that is going to provide academic fields that will prepare you for a career. They're not just classes that you're taking. It's not just something you want to check off your to-do list. If you're ready to take on a challenge then come to SDSU. I see myself as a reporter because I need to start from the bottom and work my way up, however, I need to say that my dream would be some type of television entertainment personality. Because it's important to set your goals high and aim high.



Born in Talladega, Alabama, Nelson's father ran a fruit store during the Great Depression. He moved with his family to Georgia and eventually to Biloxi, Mississippi, where he graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1947.

Early career

After graduating from high school Nelson began his journalism career with the Biloxi Daily Herald.[2] There he earned the nickname 'Scoop' for his aggressive reporting.[2] He then worked for the U.S. Army writing press releases before taking a job with the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 1952. He won the Pulitzer for local reporting under deadline in 1960, citing "the excellent reporting in his series of articles on mental institutions in Georgia."[2][3]

Los Angeles Times

He joined the Los Angeles Times in 1965 and led its Washington, D.C. bureau for 21 years after being named bureau chief in 1975.[2] He led the paper's coverage at the time of the Watergate scandal.

In 1970 Nelson wrote a story about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation and police in Meridian, Mississippi shot two Ku Klux Klan members in a sting bankrolled by the local Jewish community.[2] One of the Klan members, a woman, died in the ambush. The head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, tried to kill the story, which appeared on Page One, by smearing Nelson, falsely, as an alcoholic.[citation needed] Nelson played an important role in uncovering the truth about the Orangeburg Massacre.[citation needed] He discussed current events on television and radio news shows.[4]


Jack Nelson died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Bethesda, Maryland on October 21, 2009, aged 80.[2]


  1. ^ Gene Roberts was NYT Managing Editor from 1994 to 1997. In the 1960s he and Nelson had been coauthors of The Censors and the Schools (Little, Brown, 1963).[1]


  1. ^ "The censors and the schools". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Woo, Elaine (October 21, 2009). "Jack Nelson, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, dies at 80; journalist helped raise L.A. Times to national prominence". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  3. ^ "Local Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  4. ^ "Nelson interview". Larry King Show.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 July 2018, at 13:37
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