Jack Nelson (journalist)
|Born||John Howard Nelson
October 11, 1929
Talladega, Alabama, USA
|Died||October 21, 2009
|Cause of death||Pancreatic cancer|
|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[lower-alpha 1] as "one of the most effective reporters in the civil rights era." He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1960.
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.
After graduating from high school Nelson began his journalism career with the Biloxi Daily Herald. There he earned the nickname 'Scoop' for his aggressive reporting. 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."
Los Angeles Times
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. 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. Nelson played an important role in uncovering the truth about the Orangeburg Massacre. He discussed current events on television and radio news shows.
- 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).
- "The censors and the schools". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- 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.
- "Local Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- "Nelson interview". Larry King Show. C-SPAN.org.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Interview with Nelson on Terror in the Night: The Klan's Campaign Against the Jews, Booknotes (February 7, 1993)
- "Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Jack Nelson Dies at 80", Associated Press via Yahoo News (October 21, 2009)
- Jack Nelson, Scoop: The Evolution of a Southern Reporter (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2013)
- Jack Nelson at Library of Congress Authorities, with 11 catalog records