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Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts to speak at Linfield College

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts will present “Owning What You Know,” a lecture about “truthiness” in the media, Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield College.

Since 1994, Pitts has penned a syndicated column of commentary on pop culture, social issues and family life. Now, twice each week, millions of newspaper readers around the country seek out his rich and uncommonly resonant voice. In a word, he connects with them.

His book, Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, was released in May 1999 and reissued in paperback in June 2006. His critically-acclaimed first novel, Before I Forget, was released in 2009, and a collection of his columns, Forward From This Moment, was published that same year.

Pitts’ work has appeared in such publications as Musician, Spin, Reader’s Digest and Parenting. He wrote, produced and syndicated Who We Are, an award-winning 1988 radio documentary about the history of Black America, and has written and produced numerous other radio programs on subjects as diverse as Madonna and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2004, Pitts was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. In 2009 and 2002, GLAAD Media awarded Pitts the Outstanding Newspaper Columnist award. In 2002, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists awarded Pitts its inaugural Columnist of the Year award. Other recognitions include the prestigious ASNE Award for Commentary Writing from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Feature of the Year-Columnist award from Editor and Publisher magazine, both in 2001.

Millions of readers were initially introduced to Pitts through a column he penned in response to the 9/11 attacks. His defiant, open letter to the terrorists circulated the globe, generating 30,000 emails, and has since been set to music, reprinted in poster form, and quoted on television and radio.

The Linfield College lecture, held in honor of Black History Month, is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Nicholson Library, Department of Mass Communications, President’s Office, Student Affairs and Multicultural Programs. To learn more about Pitts, visit his website. For event information, call (503) 883-2202.