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Claude Sitton
Born Claude Fox Sitton
(1925-12-04)December 4, 1925
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Died March 10, 2015(2015-03-10) (aged 89)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Newspaper reporter, editor
Alma mater Emory University
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize for Commentary (1983)
Years active 1950s – 1990s
Spouse Eva Whetstone (m. 1953–2015) (his death)

Claude Fox Sitton (December 4, 1925 – March 10, 2015) was an American newspaper reporter and editor. He worked for the The New York Times during the 1950s and 1960s, eventually becoming the paper's national editor. He served as editorial director of Raleigh News and Observer and Raleigh Times. Sitton won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1983.

Early life[edit]

Sitton was born Claude Fox Sitton in Atlanta, Georgia to Claude and Pauline Sitton.[1]

Sitton served in the US Navy[2] after graduating high school in 1943.[1] Sitton graduated from Emory University in 1949 in Atlanta,[1] where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper The Emory Wheel, and returned to his alma mater to teach from 1991 to 1994, and was a member of Board of Counselors of Emory's Oxford College from 1993 to 2001.[2]

In 1953, Sitton married Eva Whetstone.[1] They had two daughters and two sons.[1]


Sitton worked for International News Service and United Press, then spent two years in Ghana as a United States Information Officer.[2]

Sitton covered the civil rights movement for The New York Times during the 1950s and 1960s, eventually becoming the paper's national editor. He served as editorial director of Raleigh News and Observer and Raleigh Times in 1968, and as editor of News and Observer and vice-president of News and Observer publishing company from 1970 until retirement in 1990.[2]

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning history of civil rights journalism The Race Beat, authors Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff describe Sitton as the standard bearer for civil rights journalism in the 1950s. "Sitton's byline would be atop the stories that landed on the desks of three presidents," they write.[3] "His phone number would be carried protectively in the wallets of the civil rights workers who saw him, and the power of his byline, as their best hope for survival."[4]

Sitton retired in 1990.[1]


Sitton died in hospice care in Atlanta, Georgia, from congestive heart failure at the age of 89.[1] He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Eva Whetstone, and four children.[1]


In addition to the Pulitzer for commentary, which he won in 1983, Sitton received the George Polk Career Award (1991) and John Chancellor Award for excellence in journalism (2000). Sitton lived in Oxford, Georgia.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Claude Sitton, Times Reporter Lauded for Civil Rights Coverage, Dies at 89". The New York Times. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Claude Sitton at Library of America's Reporting Civil Rights
  3. ^ Roberts, Gene; Klibanoff, Hank (2006), The Race Beat, Knopf, p. 191 
  4. ^ The Race Beat at Amazon.com

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Sitton — Please support Wikipedia.
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51 videos foundNext > 

Freedom Summer

Former journalist Claude Sitton describes Deputy Sheriff Cecil Ray Price and the jailer's wife lying to cover up the murders of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Miss. (Warning:...

Silencing the Press

Former journalist Claude Sitton remembers fleeing to avoid being subpoenaed after Montgomery (Ala.) City Commissioner L. B. Sullivan sued The New York Times. (Warning: Video contains language.

Claude Sitton Hall of Fame Video

Claude Sitton - Inducted into Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame - November 7, 2014.

'The Most Idealistic' Group

Former reporter and editor Claude Sitton praises CORE for not "perform[ing] for the cameras." Journalist Gene Roberts remembers CORE leaders worried about including high school students. From...

Claude Sitton ● A Simple Tribute

Claude Fox Sitton (4 December 1925 - 10 March 2015) "Pay Your Tribute" Twitter: https://twitter.com/RIP3ooo Facebook: https://facebook.com/RIP3ooo Google+: https://plus.google.com/+RIP3ooo...

Laurie Pritchett's Cleverness

Former reporter and editor Claude Sitton and journalist Gene Roberts explain how Police Chief Laurie Pritchett stifled the civil rights movement in Albany, Ga. From the Newseum Digital Classroom's...

'A Great Enemy'

Former journalist Claude Sitton explains why Birmingham (Ala.) Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor made the ideal enemy for the civil rights movement. From the Newseum Digital...

CORE and the Lunch Counter Sit-ins

Former New York Times reporter Claude Sitton explains CORE's role in the Greensboro, N.C., sit-ins. From the Newseum Digital Classroom's "Protesting for Right" Timeline First Lunch Counter...

NewsExtra 03-11-15

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Ioan Harea - Banjo and Fiddle

Played live in Ottawa - Canada May 5 - 2012 Ioan Harea - violin Michael Sitton - piano.

51 videos foundNext > 

2881 news items

New York Times

New York Times
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 08:20:11 -0700

Claude Sitton, a son of the South whose unwavering coverage of the civil rights movement for The New York Times through most of that tumultuous era was hailed as a benchmark of 20th-century journalism, died on Tuesday in Atlanta. He was 89. The cause ...

Emory News Center

New York Times
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 07:45:35 -0700

Before Claude Sitton, it seemed, Times journalists who had most conspicuously put themselves in harm's way, who had risked — and even lost — their lives in pursuit of a news story, were stationed thousands of miles distant, in combat zones far from ...

Jackson Clarion Ledger

Jackson Clarion Ledger
Thu, 19 Mar 2015 10:15:00 -0700

It took a dark chapter in Mississippi's civil rights history — the 1959 lynching of Mack Charles Parker in Poplarville — to first bring legendary newsman Claude Sitton and me together during what became perhaps the proudest era in American journalism.
Jackson Free Press
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 09:30:00 -0700

Journalist Claude Sitton, 89, died last Tuesday in Atlanta, his place of birth. Between May 1958 and October 1964, Sitton covered the storied "Race Beat," which was the Jim Crow Era Deep South, for The New York Times. Sitton wrote almost 900 articles, ...

News & Observer (blog)

News & Observer (blog)
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 13:44:58 -0700

After Medgar Evers, the 37-year-old NAACP field secretary for Mississippi, was shot and killed as he entered his house one night in June 1963, Claude Sitton of The New York Times described the path of the bullet. … The sniper's bullet struck him just ...
ABC News
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 08:28:43 -0700

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Claude Sitton, Who Covered Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 89. ATLANTA — Mar 10, 2015, 11:25 AM ET. Share. 0. Share on email. 0 Comments. Associated Press. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Claude Sitton, who covered ...
New York Times
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 08:50:26 -0700

Claude Sitton's reporting during the civil rights struggle was frequently that of an eyewitness. On April 3, 1963, he was in Greenwood, Miss., when white police officers began pulling people out of a line of marchers seeking to register to vote and ...

News & Observer

News & Observer
Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:39:52 -0700

Former News & Observer editor Claude Sitton, who died last week, embodied the noblest ideals of the journalism profession. As editor of the N&O from 1970 to 1990 Sitton assembled a first-rate staff and won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1983.

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