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Simeon Booker

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Information about Simeon Booker

Profile image of Simeon Booker

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Magazine Reporter
Newspaper Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chesapeake Bay
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/27/1918
Birth Location:
Baltimore, Maryland

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Magazine Reporter
Newspaper Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chesapeake Bay
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/27/1918
Birth Location:
Baltimore
See how Simeon Booker is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Magazine and newspaper reporter Simeon Saunders Booker, Jr. was born on August 27, 1918, in Baltimore, Maryland to Roberta Waring and Simeon Saunders Booker, Sr., a YMCA director and minister. After his family moved to Youngstown, Ohio, Booker became interested in journalism through a family friend, Carl Murphy, the owner and operator of Baltimore's The Afro American Newspapers. In 1942, after receiving his B.A. degree in English from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Booker took a job at the The Afro American Newspapers as a young reporter. In 1945, he moved back to Ohio to work for the Call and Post. Five years later, Booker was the recipient of the Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University to study journalism and develop his talent as a reporter. After leaving Harvard in 1951, Booker became the first full-time black reporter at The Washington Post.

In 1954, Booker was hired by the Johnson Publishing Company to report on current events in its weekly digest, Jet. In 1955, Booker helped to redefine the role of Jet and the entire Civil Rights Movement with his famous coverage of the Emmett Till murder and trial, turning an all too familiar event in the Deep South into a national tragedy that united the black community. Booker remained on the dangerous front lines of the Civil Rights Movement, reporting on the 1957 integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1961, Booker rode with the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) Freedom Riders through the Deep South. When the buses were fire bombed in Anniston, Alabama, Booker arranged the Freedom Riders’ evacuation with U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Continuing his work of in-depth reporting, Booker toured Vietnam and interviewed General Westmoreland for Jet in the mid-1960s. In 1964, Booker outlined the importance of the ongoing Civil Rights Movement in his book, Black Man’s America.

Booker covered every Presidential election since the Eisenhower Administration in his fifty-three years with Johnson Publishing until he retired in 2007. In 1982, Booker received one of the most prestigious awards in journalism, the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award.

Booker passed away on December 10, 2017 at age 99.

See how Simeon Booker is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Simeon Booker's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Simeon Booker lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Simeon Booker describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Simeon Booker describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Simeon Booker describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Simeon Booker describes his father's legacy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Simeon Booker describes his mother's role at the YMCA
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Simeon Booker lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Simeon Booker recalls the Third Baptist Church in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Simeon Booker remembers his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Simeon Booker recalls the start of his career in journalism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Simeon Booker recalls attending Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Simeon Booker narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Simeon Booker recalls working for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Simeon Booker remembers working for the Call and Post newspaper
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Simeon Booker recalls winning a Nieman Fellowship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Simeon Booker remembers working for The Washington Post
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Simeon Booker remembers covering the murder of Emmett Till, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Simeon Booker remembers working for Johnson Publishing Company
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Simeon Booker remembers covering the murder of Emmett Till, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Simeon Booker recalls covering violence in the South
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Simeon Booker remembers covering the Freedom Rides
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Simeon Booker narrates his photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Simeon Booker recalls investigating racial discrimination in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Simeon Booker remembers covering the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Simeon Booker describes his relationship with the FBI, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Simeon Booker recalls the expansion of news coverage at the Johnson Publishing Company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Simeon Booker talks about prominent civil rights leaders
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Simeon Booker remembers attending notable funerals
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Simeon Booker reflects upon youth leadership
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Simeon Booker remembers the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Simeon Booker talks about immigration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Simeon Booker remembers John H. Johnson and Robert Johnson
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Simeon Booker remembers Frank Wills
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Simeon Booker narrates his photographs, pt. 3
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Simeon Booker remembers working as a radio commentator
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Simeon Booker describes his relationship with the FBI, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Simeon Booker remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Simeon Booker recalls the mentorship of John H. Johnson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Simeon Booker recalls directing the Washington, D.C. bureau of Jet magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Simeon Booker talks about his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Simeon Booker describes the Roosevelt Student Co-operative Housing Association in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Simeon Booker recalls his decision not to join the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Simeon Booker describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Simeon Booker reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Simeon Booker reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Simeon Booker reflects upon the changes in the press
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Simeon Booker recalls adopting his son
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Simeon Booker narrates his photographs, pt. 4
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Simeon Booker narrates his photographs, pt. 5