WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 31, 2014) --The National Association of Black
Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of member and veteran sportswriter
"White was a record-setting collegiate football player at the University
of Southern California," said NABJ president Bob Butler.
"He began his career at The Los Angeles Times in 1987 working his way up
from a desk clerk position answering phones to a staff writing
position. He was respected writer who wrote about high school,
collegiate, and professional sports."
White wrote about his beloved football, but also about basketball,
hockey, and boxing. During 21 years at The Times he earned numerous
awards including several Associated Press Sports Editors awards, a
Southern California Press Club award, and the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award
presented by NABJ's Sports Journalism Task Force.
"Lonnie was a big brother-like role model to me in so many ways. He was
athlete turned sports journalist. He was a black sports writer I looked
up to and learned from," said NABJ Sports Task Force Chair, Marc Spears.
"He was a great writer. And he wasn't scared of an out the norm
challenge as he covered pro hockey for The Los Angeles Times. Lonnie
always had time for you and a word of advice if you needed it. The
former football star had no ego and lots of memorable stories. He always
found a way to laugh through all the pain. I wish I had one last
conversation with my friend. This one hurts. He will be truly missed.
There is truly nothing bad I can say about him. How many people can you
honestly say that about?"
Among White's most noted accomplishments was authoring the book "USC vs.
UCLA: 75 Years of the Greatest Rivalry in Sports" an unparalleled
anthology of one of the most significant rivalries in all of college
sports. White also gained notoriety from an article written in 2011 in
which he admitted taking $14,000 illegal payments while a USC football player. White who called his actions, an act of survival, saying he
needed to pay his bills, shined attention on what continues to be an
ongoing debate about whether collegiate athletes should be paid. After
leaving the Times in 2008, White continued to write for online
publications including AOL's Fanhouse.
NABJ extends its sincerest condolences to Mr. White's family, and the
countless friends within the journalism community who he leaves behind.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the
largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and
provides career development as well as educational and other support to
its members worldwide. For more information, please visit www.nabj.org.