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Past Hall of Fame Honorees
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Every year, NABJ pays homage to legendary black journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the industry.

On April 5, 1990, seven distinguished journalists became charter members of the NABJ Hall of Fame. Over the last 23 years, NABJ has inducted 56 journalists into the esteemed Hall of Fame.



Herb Boyd

Herb Boyd has authored or edited 22 books, including the recent Civil Rights: Yesterday & Today. His book Baldwin's Harlem was finalist for a 2009 NAACP Image Award. In 1995, with Robert Allen, he received an American Book Award for Brotherman--The Odyssey of Black Men in America. 

Maureen Bunyan

Maureen Bunyan is a veteran television news broadcaster and a primary anchor for ABC 7 in Washington, DC. Named a "Washingtonian of the Year" in 1992, Ms. Bunyan has an extensive record of service to the community.

Jay Harris

Between 1975 and 1982, Jay Harris was on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and served as assistant dean of the school. In 1978, he designed and launched the American Society of Newspaper Editors' annual national census of minority employment in daily newspapers. 

Moses Newson

Moses Newson risked his life covering some of the most notable events of the civil rights movement, including the funeral of George Lee, the Emmett Till murder trial, school desegregation in Little Rock and the 1961 Freedom Rides, where his bus was attacked in Anniston, Alabama.

Bernard Shaw

Bernard Shaw began his career in Chicago at WNUS TV, then later joined CBS News and ABC news, becoming its Capitol Hill Senior Correspondent. Shaw retired from CNN in 2001 after being the face of the cable network since its inception in 1980. During that time, Shaw commanded the anchor desk and boldly steered the national conversation even when taking on positions of adversity. 

Zelda Ormes (Posthumous)

Jackie Ormes (1911-1985, née Zelda Mavin Jackson) was the first African American woman newspaper cartoonist. She pushed the art of the newspaper cartoon and comic strip in a new direction with her smart, beautiful, handsome, and fashionable Black characters that challenged the stereotypes and caricatures in the mainstream press.

Ernest Dunbar (Posthumous)

Ernest Dunbar was a globetrotting journalist who made his mark as the first black reporter at Look magazine in 1954. A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Dunbar earned a B.A. in journalism from Temple University in 1954, where he was editor of the university newspaper. He did graduate work in journalism at Northwestern University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in journalism from Temple in 1971. 

Lee Thornton (Posthumous)

Dr. Lee Thornton received a master’s degree in rhetoric and public address from Michigan State University in 1968 and a doctorate in radio, television and film studies from Northwestern University in 1973. She joined CBS News in 1974 and, from 1977 to 1981, covered the Carter White House. In 1977, Lee Thornton became the first black woman to cover the White House regularly for CBS. She worked for the CBS affiliate in Detroit before joining National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered” program in 1982 as a weekend host. 






Betty Bayé

For more than 25 years Betty Bayé worked as a reporter, editor, and editorial page writer at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the only African-American editorial writer and columnist on staff. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna is well-regarded for her bold and insightful commentaries on race, equity and justice, and African-American history and culture.

Simeon Booker 

Simeon Booker made history as the first African-American staff reporter at The Washington Post after having completed a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. Booker who began his career at The Afro-American Newspapers would become best known for his incisive coverage of the civil rights movement for Jet Magazine.


Alice Dunnigan (Posthumous)

In the latter part of her life Alice Dunnigan wrote her autobiography "A Black Woman's Experience: From Schoolhouse to White House” which chronicled her life growing up in Kentucky, where she began her career as a teacher. Later she would become a Washington correspondent for The Associated Negro Press where her specializing in politics led her to become the first African-American woman credentialed to cover The White House, the Congress, and the State Department. Dunnigan also famously covered Harry Truman’s presidential campaign.

Sue Simmons

Sue Simmons is an iconic anchorwoman whose career took her from New Haven, to Baltimore, to Washington, DC before she headed home to her native New York where she would anchor the evening news at WNBC-TV, NBC’s flagship station for 32 years



Wendell Smith(Posthumous)

Wendell Smith began his career as a sportswriter writing for the Pittsburgh Courier. Later his knowledge of baseball led him to be a scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Smith helped convince Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey that Jackie Robinson should be the man to integrate baseball. Later he resumed his journalism career and covered the White Sox for theChicago Sun-Times. Smith has his own place in history as the first African-American member of BBWAA the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. 



 Cynthia Tucker

An award-winning author, producer, public speaker and former deputy bureau chief for Time Magazine. (Posthumous induction).







Gwen Ifill

Moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and senior correspondent for the "PBS NewsHour."  She is also the best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."

Pat Harvey

A sixteen-time Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist who co-anchors CBS2 (Los Angeles) 5 and 11 pm broadcasts.

Ruth Allen Ollison

Started up the NBC affiliate news department in Tyler, TX. After two decades in the broadcasting industry, sought to transform the conditions in Houston, TX that she had covered for so long as a journalist.

Johnathan Rodgers

Former TV One President and CEO who under his leadership, the network, which serves nearly 53 million adults, has become recognized as the quality programming for African-Americans.

Wallace Terry

An award-winning author, producer, public speaker and former deputy bureau chief for Time magazine. (Posthumous induction)




Ed Bradley
George Foster Peabody and Emmy award winning journalist best known for his 26 year run on the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes. (Posthumous induction)


Merri Dee
30 year veteran of Chicago broadcasting and former evening anchor for Chicago’s WGN-TV. 

JC Hayward
One of Washington DC’s most respected broadcasters whose Emmy award winning career has included more than 36 years as an anchor and reporter at WUSA Channel 9.

Eugene Robinson
Pulitzer Prize winner who served as the Associate Editor and twice-weekly columnist for the Washington Post.

Ray Taliaferro
Veteran radio journalist who's career spans almost 25 years for San Francisco’s "The Early Show" on KGO NEWSTALK AM 810.


 Earl Caldwell
Reporter and early Civil Rights Activist
(New York)
 Peggy Peterman (posthumous)
St. Petersburg Times (Florida); (posthumous)
 Lynn Norment
Editor, EBONY Magazine
 Larry Whiteside
Reporter, The Boston Globe (Boston), (posthumous)



 Charles E. Cobb, Jr.

Belva Davis
KQED-TV (San Francisco)

Vernon Jarrett
Chicago Tribune (posthumous)

Les Payne
Newsday columnist

Xernona Clayton-Brady Xernona Clayton-Brady
Trumpet Awards founder and broadcast pioneer
Merv Aubespin Merv Aubespin
Past NABJ President, 1983-1985
Artist, reporter and editor
The Courier-Journal
John L. Dotson, Jr. John L. Dotson, Jr.
Former president and publisher
Akron Beacon Journal
Co-founder, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
Jim Vance Jim Vance


Lerone Bennett Jr.
Lerone Bennett Jr.
Executive Editor Emeritus
Ebony magazine

Al Fitzpatrick
Al Fitzpatrick
Former Executive Editor

William Raspberry
William Raspberry
The Washington Post


Charles "Teenie" Harris

Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Broadcast Journalist & Author

Max Robinson
Max Robinson
Founding NABJ Member
Former ABC News Anchor

Carole Simpson
Carole Simpson
Former ABC Anchor
World News Tonight Sunday


John H. Johnson
Publisher and Chairman
Johnson Publishing Co.

Robert Maynard
Institute for Journalism Education

Chuck Stone
Founding NABJ President


Seven distinguished journalists became charter members of the Hall of Fame on April 5, 1990, at a formal induction ceremony in Washington.

Dorothy Butler Gilliam
Dorothy Butler Gilliam
"magnetic presence" as a reporter, editor and columnist at The Washington Post.

Mal H. Goode
broke color barrier in network broadcast journalism as ABC News reporter in 1962.

Mal Johnson
a founding NABJ member, longtime correspondent for Cox Broadcasting Co.

Gordon Parks
renowned photojournalist at Life magazine, author, filmmaker.

Ted Poston
called "dean of black journalists" during New York Post career (1930's-1960's).

Norma Quarles
Norma Quarles
veteran network anchor and correspondent at NBC News, CNN and PBS.

Carl T. Rowan
renowned columnist once called nation's "most visible black journalist."


Accepting a strong recommendation from the NABJ Hall of Fame Screening Committee, the Board of Directors voted in April 2004 to induct 10 historical journalism figures as a one-time measure. The committee's rationale was that any legitimate Hall of Fame of black journalists must include these legendary figures and that 2004 revival of the Hall of Fame was the appropriate time to include them.

Robert S. Abbott
founded the Chicago Defender, which helped create the Great Migration to the North.

Samuel E. Cornish
co-publisher, Freedoms Journal, the nation's first black newspaper.


Frederick Douglass
a former slave and the nation's most prominent abolitionist and the publisher of the North Star.

W.E.B. DuBois
a NAACP founder and creator and first editor of its magazine, The Crisis.

T. Thomas Fortune
one of the most prominent black journalists in the post-Civil War era.

Ethel Payne
First Lady of the Black Press, D.C. correspondent for Sengstacke Newspapers.

Marcus Garvey
journalist for Africa Times and Orient Review, publisher of Negro World.

John B. Russwurm
co-publisher, Freedoms Journal, the nation's first black newspaper.

John Sengstacke
founder of Michigan Chronicle and publisher of Chicago Defender and Pittsburgh Courier.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett
newspaper editor, crusader against segregation and lynching in United States.
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