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Claude Fox Sitton (born December 4, 1925) is a retired American newspaper reporter and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He 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.[1]

Sitton graduated from Emory University in 1949, where he was editor in chief of the student newspaper The Emory Wheel. He returned to Emory to teach from 1991 to 1994, and was a member of Board of Counselors of Emory's Oxford College (1993–2001).

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 (page 191). "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."[2]

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


  1. ^ http://reportingcivilrights.loa.org/authors/bio.jsp?authorId=73
  2. ^ The Race Beat at Amazon

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35 videos foundNext > 

Claude Sitton Hall of Fame Video

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

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, G...

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...

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....

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 Righ...

'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 m...

'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 in...

Pitch Talk Meets John Sitton

Pitch Talk Meets John Sitton is here!!! We sat down with a man who has played in all 4 English football league divisions & who was Leyton Orient manager ...

Ioan Harea - Banjo and Fiddle

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

sir a rex regansons half time teamtalk !!!!! priceless... 1993..part 2 uncut !!!!!

the half time teamtalk 1993..jolly carter versus monton sports .!!!!!.....the inspirational .......... sir a rex regan son....and see tony darcy doing his je...

35 videos foundNext > 

33 news items

Rockdale Citizen
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:16:37 -0700

Journalist Claude Sitton looks on as Regents Chairman Robert O. Arnold announces that reporters will be banned from certain buildings at the University of Georgia in 1961, during the unrest of the civil rights movement. (Special Photo) ...
Emory University News and Events
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:15:00 -0800

Baquet was in Atlanta to help honor Emory graduate Claude Sitton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper reporter and editor who was sent South by the New York Times to cover the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s, eventually becoming the ...
American Journalism Review
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Roberts recalled how protesters who “didn't trust the local law enforcement people or even the federal law enforcement people” would call New York Times reporter Claude Sitton and say, “'There's a story here. You ought to be here.' And they felt safe ...

Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)

Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:46:13 -0800

... Press Club Hall of Fame dinner, with four well-deserved inductees: retired NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, New York Times reporter Claude Sitton, the late great Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter/columnist Celestine Sibley and 11 Alive anchor Brenda Wood.

Communities Digital News

Communities Digital News
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:22:30 -0800

ATLANTA, Nov. 13, 2014 — The Atlanta community paused Friday to celebrate the works of four legendary journalists who were inducted into the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame. Tom Brokaw, Celestine Sibley, Claude Sitton and Brenda Wood were inducted ...


Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:38:50 -0700

Chapel Hill, N.C. — Professors at North Carolina's flagship public university met Friday for the first time in the aftermath of an independent investigation that showed campus leaders, faculty members and staff missed or just ignored red flags that ...
New York Times (blog)
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 16:00:00 -0800

Birmingham, Ala., Sept. 15--A bomb severely damaged a Negro church today during Sunday school services, killing four Negro girls and setting off racial rioting and other violence in which two Negro boys were shot to death. Fourteen Negroes were injured ...

Communities Digital News

Communities Digital News
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:33:45 -0700

ATLANTA, Oct. 31, 2014 — Four notable journalists with Atlanta backgrounds will be enshrined in the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame during a dinner and ceremony next Friday. Tom Brokaw, Celestine Sibley, Claude Sitton and Brenda Wood will join 16 ...

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