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Joseph N. Boyce

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Information about Joseph N. Boyce

Profile image of Joseph N. Boyce

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Editor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Steak, Pastry
Favorite Time of Year:
June
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/18/1937
Birth Location:
New Orleans, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Editor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Steak, Pastry
Favorite Time of Year:
June
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/18/1937
Birth Location:
New Orleans
See how Joseph N. Boyce is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Newspaper editor Joseph N. Boyce was born on April 18, 1937 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Sadie Boyce. He studied biology at Roosevelt University and attended John Marshall School of Law in Chicago from 1965 to 1967.

In 1961, Boyce joined the Chicago police force, where he served for five years as a patrolman, district vice detective, evidence technician and police academy law instructor. In 1966, he was hired as the first African American reporter at the Chicago Tribune, where he covered the Nigerian Civil War and the Democratic National Convention of 1968. Time magazine recruited Boyce as a correspondent at the publication’s Chicago bureau in 1970, where he wrote a series of articles on the emergence of urban gangs. Within three years, he was promoted to chief of the San Francisco bureau, where he covered the Patricia Hearst kidnapping and trial, the assassination attempts on President Gerald Ford, and the Moscone-Milk assassinations.

Boyce became chief of Time’s Atlanta bureau and southern region in 1979 and moved on to the position of deputy chief of Time’s New York bureau in 1985. The Wall Street Journal then hired him as senior editor for public and social policy in 1987, making him the first African American senior editor at the paper. He retired from the Wall Street Journal in 1998 and became an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1999. In 2001, Boyce was hired as an adjunct professor at Indiana/Purdue University’s Indianapolis School of Journalism where he won the Alfred Bynum award for mentoring in 2006.

Boyce has been a member of various associations, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Indianapolis Association of Black Journalists, and the Indiana Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He was also a founding member of the National Association of Minority Media Executives (NAMME), and served as a consultant to the Wall Street Journal.

Boyce lives in Indianapolis with his wife Carol, with whom he has four children.

Joseph Boyce was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2012.

See how Joseph N. Boyce is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Boyce's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce talks about his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce describes his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce talks about his mother's siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce details his maternal grandfather's education, grocery store, and real estate holdings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about his grandfather's loan to a local Ford dealership and his being an honorary deputy sheriff
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce describes his uncle, Cecil Nelson, who won the Croix de Guerre and became the first black national officer for the Illinois American Legion
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce talks about his grandfather's children from his third marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Boyce outlines his mother's education and teaching career at Prairie View A&M University and Xavier University
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joseph Boyce talks about how his parents met and his father's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Joseph Boyce recalls living in a rooming house in Central Illinois, his mother's employment challenges as an African American, and moving to Chicago
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Joseph Boyce talks about his father, a priest, the dynamics of his parents' relationship and his own rocky relationship with his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Joseph Boyce remembers how he and his brother both worked full-time jobs while attending grade school to make ends meet after his mother had a stroke
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about Sadie Nelson, his mother and his hero
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce describes his older brother, Robert, who served in the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce talks about his mother's independence from her family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce describes how his mother made ends meet by selling her inheritance
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce talks about behavioral problems in his school classroom and the demographic of Danville, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about being the only black student in grade school and how it impacted him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce talks about living in a white part of town and being called an "Uncle Tom"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce recounts the paper routes and lawn cutting business he had as a youth in Danville, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joseph Boyce discusses systematic racial and gender discrimination in America and how it affected his vocational aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joseph Boyce talks about black newspapers and how he handled his paper routes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Joseph Boyce describes his fight with a white paper boy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Joseph Boyce describes his mother's influence on how he spoke and his love of reading
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about exercising his right to service at a soda shop in Danville, Illinois with the help of his mother and a good friend
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce describes his natural curiosity and how it led him into journalism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce remembers facing discrimination at an Episcopal church in Danville, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce talks about being a good student in grade school, but a poor student in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce describes the teachers and classmate that influenced him in grade school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce recalls moving to Chicago's Sutherland Hotel when his mother took a new job
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about playing instruments with his brother and discovering the vibraharp
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce describes the mechanics of the vibraharp, and the diversity of people and opportunity he saw in Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce talks about working as a stock boy and at the Sutherland Hotel, and seeing musicians like Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Joseph Boyce remembers taking vibraphone lessons from Marvin Kaplan of the Civic Opera, exploring Chicago's arts scene, and his first music gigs with Herbie Hancock and Don Goldberg
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about taking a break from his studies at Roosevelt University to go on tour with the Dozier Boys from 1956 to 1957
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce talks about Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson, two influential vibraphonists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce talks about how music and partying were his priorities at Roosevelt University, and how he switched his major from biology to psychology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce talks about his marriage, his two daughters, and his interest in working for the Chicago Police Department
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce talks about the Summerdale Scandal, joining the Chicago Police Department in 1961, and supplementing his income by working at the post office
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce describes corruption in the Chicago Police Department
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about attending John Marshall Law School, political demonstrations in Chicago, and the Willis Wagons
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce talks about how a chance encounter with the Chicago Tribune's foreign correspondent inspired him to become a journalist
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce shares the story of how he was hired at the Chicago Tribune in 1966
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce describes leaving the Chicago Police Department to work for the Chicago Tribune in 1966
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce talks about participating in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s housing march in Gage Park in 1966 and the political orientation of Chicago newspapers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce talks about refusing to be confined to covering the black community by working on the breadth of his coverage while at the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce remembers how he changed an editor's racist opinion of him
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce talks about covering the Black Panther Party, working with Ovie Carter, and leaving the Chicago Tribune for TIME magazine in 1970
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce remembers a lesson from Don Starr, foreign editor for the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about his foreign assignment to cover the Nigerian-Biafran war in 1969
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce describes a couple of dangerous encounters in Nigeria while covering the Nigerian-Biafran War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce remembers his attempts to enter Biafra to cover the Nigerian-Biafran War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joseph Boyce talks about the Nigerian-Biafran War, and how Hollywood and the movies affected his perception of Africa
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about his interactions with Nigerian citizens while he was covering the Nigerian-Biafran War in Lagos
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce describes his coverage of the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark who were members of the Black Panther Party
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce talks about Lu Palmer, Betty Washington, and how Chicago's liberal newspapers were not as liberal as they purported to me
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce describes black journalists at the Chicago Tribune including Vernon Jarett, Pam Johnson, and Angela Parker, and the paper's hire of Clarence Page
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce talks about his friendship with Clarence Page
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce talks about covering the 1968 Memphis SCLC convention after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about covering the 1968 Memphis SCLC convention after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce describes the SCLC Mule Train, and the events leading up to protests outside of the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce recounts the protests outside of the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about how the Chicago Tribune suppressed a story on the Conrad Hilton Hotel protest during the 1968 Democratic National Convention
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce talks about a censored story of the black student takeover of the Bursar's Office at Northwestern University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce discusses instances of censorship by the "old guard" at the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce talks about his decision to move to Resurrection City during the 1969 Poor People's Campaign in response to drive-by journalism in Chicago papers
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce describes life in Resurrection City during the Poor People's Campaign
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce talks about leaving the Poor People's Campaign in Resurrection City and writing a front page story about his experience
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce discusses the success of The Civil Rights Movement, and the critical distinction between desegregation and integration
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce talks about his decision to leave the Chicago Tribune for TIME magazine in 1970
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce talks about working for TIME magazine and becoming the first bureau chief of color at TIME, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about his story on Jim Thompson during his time at TIME Magazine's Chicago office from 1973 to 1979
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce talks about how the Republican Party has changed over the years
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce discusses the impact of Jesse Jackson's contributions on the black community and some of Jackson's shortcomings, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce discusses the impact of Jesse Jackson's contributions on the black community and some of Jackson's shortcomings, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce talks about his promotion to chief of the TIME's San Francisco bureau, securing credibility as a black boss, and Olivia Stewart, his administrative assistant
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce talks about stories that broke while he was TIME's San Francisco bureau chief: the attempted assassination of President Ford, the Patty Hearst kidnapping, and the Symbionese Liberation Army
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce remembers being racially profiled by police outside the People's Temple in San Francisco
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce describes running TIME's West Edit operation out of the Los Angeles bureau
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Joseph Boyce talks about covering the Alaskan pipeline in Prudhoe Bay and disabusing TIME's New York office of some geographical stereotypes
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Joseph Boyce talks about being transferred TIME's Atlanta bureau as chief and the Atlanta Child Murders
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce describes theories surrounding Wayne Williams' involvement with the Atlanta Child Murders
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce talks about stories in the South while he was TIME's Atlanta chief
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce describes the stories surrounding former South Carolina Senator Jesse Helms
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce remembers fixing personnel problems at TIME's New York office and leaving TIME for The Wall Street Journal in 1987
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce talks about adjusting to his job as senior editor of The Wall Street Journal
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce talks about The Wall Street Journal's irrelevance to black businessmen
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about working to increase The Wall Street Journal's relevance among black professionals
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce recalls collaborating with Black Enterprise Magazine to run a black entrepreneurship forum, and his retirement in 1998
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce talks about his second wife, Carol Boyce
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Joseph Boyce shares the story of meeting his second wife, Carol Boyce
  • Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Joseph Boyce talks about how he met his second wife, Carol Boyce, and the dissolution of his first marriage
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about his courtship with his second wife, Carol Boyce nee Hill
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce talks about his teaching experience as well as fellow colleagues Vernon Jarrett, DeWayne Wickham, Les Payne, Paul Delaney, Francis Ward, and himself
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce describes his decision to leave the National Association of Minority Media Executives (NAMME) because he did not want to fundraise through grants
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce talks about the Alfred Byron Teaching Award and his commitment to diversifying journalism as well as Pam Johnson and her mentor, Les Brownlee
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce talks about playing with Herbie Hancock, Leslie Rout, Billie Johns, and Billie Quinn in high school
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce talks about Herbie Hancock and Donald Stewart
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce describes his music career and how Herbie Hancock became a member of the Miles Davis Quintet
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce shares the story of his first gig with Rahsaan Roland Kirk
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Joseph Boyce talks about moving back to Atlanta and his children there
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Joseph Boyce talks about his children
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Joseph Boyce talks about his daughter Beverly Griffith, and his son, Nelson Boyce
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Joseph Boyce talks about his mother, Sadie Nelson, and her passing in 1979
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Joseph Boyce discusses what he might do differently and the impact of racism on the job market
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Joseph Boyce reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Joseph Boyce talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Joseph Boyce shares advice for young black journalists
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Joseph Boyce talks about the disparity in the black community
  • Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Joseph Boyce continues to talk about the disparity in the black community
  • Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Joseph Boyce talks about his hopes for the African American community