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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ Mourns the Loss of USA Today Founder Al Neuharth

Monday, April 22, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tiane Johnson
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(Courtesy: Gannett News Service)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 22, 2013) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Allen H. "Al" Neuharth, Founder of USA Today, the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. He was 89.

Neuharth, who was born in Eureka, South Dakota, studied journalism at the University of South Dakota. In 1952 he launched his first newspaper, a weekly tabloid devoted to high school athletics. Later he reported for the Miami Herald, began his career as a newsroom manager, and served as a manager at the Detroit Free Press before joining Gannett.

During his time at Gannett, Neuharth founded the newspaper, which became USA Today, and progressed to Chairman and CEO of Gannett Co., Inc. In the early 1990's, Neuharth founded the nonpartisan international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech, and free spirit, called The Freedom Forum.

"Al Neuharth's life story is inspiring. He came from humble beginnings and was ultimately regarded as one of America's greatest business and civic leaders. His contributions to the journalism industry, and to the First Amendment at-large have helped make America great," said NABJ President Gregory H. Lee, Jr. "We're also thankful for our longtime partnership with the Freedom Forum which because of it's devotion to free press, free speech, and free spirit, supports inclusion of diverse voices and supports development of the next generation of journalists and media professionals. I will never forget when I met Mr. Neuharth as a 20-year-old intern in Cocoa Beach. His words were powerful, his convictions were unwavering and his confidence was sky high. He was a very big supporter of diversity and the industry owe a big debt to him for his leadership and vision.”

NABJ offers its sincerest condolences to Mr. Neuharth's family, friends and colleagues.
"In envisioning a bold new approach to American newspapers, Al Neuharth smartly and rightly included a diverse newsroom as an integral part of a formula that will be remembered as one of the country's most successful journalistic models," said NABJ Vice President-Print Errin Whack. "His commitment to journalists of color, first at USA Today, and as part of The Newseum, is a model for all news leaders and should be marked as among the tallest pillars of his legacy."


 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

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