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Presidential Lecture Series

Roger Wilkins

Recognition Year: 

Award-Winning Journalist and Civil Rights Activist

"The Voting Rights Act: Promise and Reality"

Sept. 22, 2005
Medical Sciences Auditorium

Roger Wilkins is an award-winning journalist, author, and civil rights advocate whose personal history is interwoven with the pivotal times in which he has lived. Wilkins interned with Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund during his college years at the University of Michigan, where he earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees. As his interest in legal issues and equality grew, he became an assistant attorney general under President Johnson. In 1972, he began writing editorials for The Washington Post as the Watergate scandal was coming to light, earning a Pulitzer Prize along with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He became the first African American to serve on The New York Times' editorial board. He has subsequently worked for the Institute for Policy Studies, The Washington Star, and National Public Radio.

He is currently a Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University.

Wilkins is the author of several books, including Jefferson's Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism, which won the 2002 NAIBA Book Award for Adult Nonfiction.