Leonard Pitts, Jr. has been writing professionally since 1976 when, as an 18-year-old junior at the University of Southern California, he began doing reviews and profiles for SOUL, a national black entertainment tabloid. Two years later, he was its editor. In the years since then, Pitts’ work has appeared in such publications as TV Guide, Reader’s Digest, and Parenting. In addition, he wrote, produced and syndicated Who We Are, an award-winning 1988 radio documentary on 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. He was also a writer for radio’s popular countdown program, ‘Casey’s Top 40 with Casey Kasem.’
Pitts work has been honored over the years by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, The Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, GLAAD Media, the Press Club of Atlantic City and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, among many others. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and won the award in 2004. He is the recipient of four honorary doctorates.
Pitts is a journalism professor at Morgan State University and is the author of four celebrated novels: Before I Forget, Freeman, Grant Park, and The Last Thing You Surrender. Born and raised in Southern California, he makes his home with his family in Bowie, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.