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N. Don Wycliff

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Information about N. Don Wycliff

Profile image of N. Don Wycliff

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Columnist
Newspaper Editor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti, Meat Sauce
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I might can do it.

Birthplace

Born:
12/17/1946
Birth Location:
Liberty, Texas

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Newspaper Columnist
Newspaper Editor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti, Meat Sauce
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I might can do it.

Birthplace

Born:
12/17/1946
Birth Location:
Liberty
See how N. Don Wycliff is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Newspaper editor and columnist N. Don Wycliff was born in Liberty, Texas on December 17, 1946. Driven by the dearth of employment and educational opportunities for African Americans in Texas, Wycliff's parents moved their family to Kentucky in 1954. Wycliff graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1969. While attending graduate school on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at the University of Chicago, Wycliff was riveted by local news organizations' coverage of a police raid on the Black Panthers' headquarters on the West Side. Deciding on journalism as a career, Wycliff returned to Texas and accepted a position as a general assignment reporter at the Houston Post.

Wycliff worked as a reporter in Ohio, Illinois, and Washington, before becoming region section editor and assistant to the editor at the New York Times: Week in Review. As a board member of the Times' editorial page from 1985 to 1990, Wycliff addressed an array of issues, including religion, race relations, social policy, and education. Wycliff joined the Chicago Tribune's editorial staff in 1990; under his leadership, the paper won numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and two Distinguished Writing Awards from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. A member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame, Wycliff received writing awards and evaluated others' work for the Pulitzer Prize and other honors.

From 2000 on, Wycliff worked as a Tribune columnist and the newspaper's public editor; fielding comments about its reporting, writing, and editing. In these positions, Wycliff unflinchingly reflected on variety of topics; advocating objectivity and justice. Wycliff served on advisory councils at Notre Dame and Northwestern universities, and at the national associations of minority media executives and black journalists. In Evanston, Illinois, where he lived with his wife, Catherine, and sons Matthew and Grant, Wycliff served as a Cub Scout leader, sports coach, and member of St. Mary's church Parish Pastoral Council.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Don Wycliff interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Don Wycliff favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Don Wycliff remembers his great-grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Don Wycliff recalls Big Poppa
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Don Wycliff discusses his great-grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Don Wycliff reveals how the family name came into being
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Don Wycliff discusses his great-grandfather's unique naming abilities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Don Wycliff shares some additional stories of his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Don Wycliff details the history of his hometown, Dayton, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Don Wycliff talks about his mother and her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Don Wycliff details his mother's hardscrabble upbringing in Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Don Wycliff remembers his hard-working grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Don Wycliff details his father's childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Don Wycliff continues with stories of his father's life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Don Wycliff remembers his family move to Kentucky
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Don Wycliff recalls the sights and sounds of Dayton, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Don Wycliff shares some cherished childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Don Wycliff discusses blacksmithing with his grandfather during the summer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Don Wycliff remembers his early exposure to media
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Don Wycliff discusses life in Ashland, Kentucky
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Don Wycliff discusses his athletic abilitiy in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Don Wycliff discusses his early educational experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Don Wycliff offers his thoughts on single-sex education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Don Wycliff details his varied educational experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Don Wycliff continues with stories from his school years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Don Wycliff recalls his lonely first years at Notre Dame University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Don Wycliff details college life at the all-male Notre Dame University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Don Wycliff continues with tales of college life at Notre Dame University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Don Wycliff remembers his favorite Notre Dame professors
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Don Wycliff decides to pursue a PhD at the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Don Wycliff remembers the Black Panther Shootout of 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Don Wycliff recalls the name change from Colored to Negro
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Don Wycliff recalls the assasination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Don Wycliff details his early days in journalism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Don Wycliff details some of his weaknesses as a reporter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Don Wycliff remembers his years at the Chicago Daily News newspaper
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Don Wycliff regrets taking a job at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Don Wycliff details life at the New York Times newspaper
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Don Wycliff describes being part of the New York Times culture
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Don Wycliff interview, part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Don Wycliff gives an insider view of the New York TImes editorial board
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Don Wycliff discusses three black journalists on the New York Times Editorial Board
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Don Wycliff details the New York Times Editorial Board selection process
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Don Wycliff discusses the influence of politics on editorial coverage
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Don Wycliff details the political friction on newspaper editorial boards
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Don Wycliff recalls coverage of the Tawana Brawley rape case in New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Don Wycliff discusses Jesse Jackson Sr's impact on American politics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Don Wycliff details the political impact of Jesse Jackson Sr's Presidential campaigns
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Don Wycliff details the events which led him to the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Don Wycliff recalls how covering Nelson Mandela caused him to move to Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Don Wycliff moves to Chicago at the start of the new Daley era
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Don Wycliff remembers kind co-workers from his first days at the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Don Wycliff details the other black writers at the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Don Wycliff comments on the dichotomy of a Republican newspaper in a Democratic city
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Don Wycliff shares two important issues covered by the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Don Wycliff examines black middle-class thoughts to school vouchers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Don Wycliff discusses the "No Child Left Behind" Act
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Don Wycliff discusses the volatile situation in Israel
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Don Wycliff discusses the role of the press and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Don Wycliff is surprised to hear the Mayor of Chicago has intens following Chicago Tribune reporters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Don Wycliff discusses the firing of Chicago Tribune Columnist, Salim Muwakkil
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Don Wycliff continues with the Salim Muwakkil controversy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Don Wycliff details a swirling controversey around an editorial page cartoon
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Don Wycliff continues discussing thefine line between satire and anti-Semitism
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Don Wycliff discusses being the representative black figure at the Chicago Tribune
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Don Wycliff shares thoughts on the rewarding aspects of being an Editorial Board member
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Don Wycliff details the challenges of being on the Editorial Board of a major newspaper
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Don Wycliff offers his hopes for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Don Wycliff describes his model of education for black children
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Don Wycliff ponders life if he made different choices
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Don Wycliff contemplates what his legacy shall be
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Don Wycliff ponders on how he will be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Photo-Don Wycliff at the University of Notre Dame
  • Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Photo-Don Wycliff with his sons Grant and Matthew
  • Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Photo-Don Wycliff on his high school basketball team
  • Tape: 7 Story: 15 - Photo-Don Wycliff and siblings
  • Tape: 7 Story: 16 - Photo-Don Wycliff's First Communion
  • Tape: 7 Story: 17 - Photo-The Wycliff Family 1955
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Photo- Don Wycliff and his two brothers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Photo-Don Wycliff as an infant
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Photo- Don Wycliff's mother
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Photo- Don Wycliff's grandfather Socrates Wycliff
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Photo- Don Wycliff's father
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Photo-Don Wycliff's parents
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Photo- Kathy Wycliff, Don's wife
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Photo-Don Wycliff in London, England
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Photo-The Pope in Yellowknife, Canada
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Photo-The Wycliff Family, cir. 1987
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Photos- Don Wycliff with wife and new baby
  • Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Photo- The Wycliff Family 1975
  • Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Photo- Don Wycliff's parents 40th Wedding Anniversary
  • Tape: 8 Story: 14 - Photo-Don Wycliff's mother at the wedding anniversary party