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King University News :: Miami Herald Columnist, Author of "Freeman" to Speak at King College, Bristol Public Library

Leonard Pitts, Jr., award-winning author and syndicated columnist on commentary and real world issues, will speak at both King College and the Bristol Public Library on Monday, Nov. 12, as part of the Buechner Institute Lecture Series. The series is co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.

Pitts, recognized as one of the leading commentators on cultural issues, will present his perspectives at 9:15 a.m. at King’s Memorial Chapel and at 7 p.m. at the Bristol Public Library.  The public is invited to both events.

“Leonard Pitts is a keen observer who may well give us new perspectives on where we have been and where we are going,” said Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute and chair of the English department at King College.  “His feature columns, appearing in newspapers throughout the country, comment on race, religion, politics and other major matters in the American experience.”

In a career spanning more than 35 years, Pitts has been a columnist, college professor, radio producer, lecturer, and writer, his favorite passion.  He was born and raised in Southern California, and now lives in suburban Washington D.C.  He graduated from the University of California at age 19, with a degree in English.

In 2001, Pitts received the American Society of Newspaper Editors prestigious ASNE Award for Commentary Writing and was named Feature of the Year-Columnist by Editor and Publisher magazine. In 2002, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists awarded Pitts its inaugural Columnist of the Year award. He also received the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for commentary.

Pitts’ work has made him an in-demand lecturer. He maintains a rigorous speaking schedule that has taken him to colleges, civic groups and professional associations all over the country. He has also been invited to teach at a number of prestigious institutions of higher learning, including Hampton University, Ohio University, the University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2011, he was a visiting professor at Princeton University.

Pitts has been a columnist for The Miami Herald since 1991. He is also the author of several novels including “Freeman;” “Before I Forget;” the collection “Forward From this Moment;” “Selected Columns;” and “Daily Triumphs, Tragedies, and Curiosities.”

In a professional review by Publisher’s Weekly, Pitts is praised for once again demonstrating his gift for historical fiction by turning his lens to the painful aftermath of the Civil War.  The traumatic period is viewed from the perspectives of two very different but equally inspirational protagonists.

“We are delighted that students, faculty, and staff of King along with the surrounding community will have not one but two opportunities to hear Leonard Pitts, Jr. speak,” said Brown. “His lectures will prove to be both fascinating and insightful.”

Leonard Pitts, Jr., will speak at King College in the Memorial Chapel on Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:15 a.m. and at 7 p.m. at the Bristol Public Library. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit


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