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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ Mourns the Loss of Veteran Sportswriter Lonnie White

Monday, March 31, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Veronique Dodson
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 31, 2014) --The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of member and veteran sportswriter Lonnie White.

"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

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