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John X. Miller

Journalist John Xavier Miller, Jr. was born on September 11, 1955 in Henderson, North Carolina to John Miller, Sr. and Betty Faison. Miller was raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School in 1973. He went on to receive his B.A. degree in journalism from Washington and Lee University in 1977.

Miller began his career with an internship at the Twin City Sentinel in the 1970s. From 1978 to 1982, he worked as a copy editor for The Roanoke Times & World News and as a sports copy editor for the Charlotte Observer. Miller then became an original staff member of USA Today when he was hired as the newspaper’s sports copy desk chief in 1982. In 1991, he was named executive editor of The Reporter in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. In 1996, he was appointed as the managing editor of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. From 1999 to 2007, Miller worked at the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit Media Partnership (DMP), first as the Free Press’ public editor, then as the DMP’s director of community affairs.

In December of 2007, Miller was named chief executive officer of The Heat and Warmth Fund, a Detroit, Michigan-based nonprofit organization. Three years later, in 2010, he moved to the Hickory Daily Record, where he served as editor. In August of 2013, Miller became the first African American managing editor of the Winston-Salem Journal.

Miller has served on numerous boards including the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, the Michigan Humanities Council, and various American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors boards and committees. He was a founding member of the National Association of Minority Media Executives and former board chairman of ARISE Detroit!. He has been a Pulitzer Prize Juror, a facilitator at the American Press Institute in Reston, Virginia, and was the first Donald W. Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at Washington and Lee University in 2005. Miller received the Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1973 and the Spark Plug Award from the Chicora District BSA in 1997.

John X. Miller was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.236

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/13/2014

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Xavier

Occupation
Schools

St. Benedict The Moor

Wiley Middle School

R.J. Reynolds High School

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University School of Law

Greater Dimensions College of Theology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Henderson

HM ID

MIL11

State

North Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

9/11/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

USA

Short Description

Journalist John X. Miller (1955 - ) , managing editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, has served as an editor for several newspapers, including The Reporter, The Sun News, the Detroit Free Press, and the Hickory Daily Record. He was also one of the original staff members of USA Today, and served as CEO of The Heat and Warmth Fund.

Employment

Winston-Salem Journal

Hickory Daily Record

The Heat And Warmth Fund

Detroit Media Partnership, L.P.

Detroit Free Press Charities

Washington and Lee University

Detroit Free Press

The Sun News

The Reporter

USA Today

Charlotte Observer

The Roanoke Times & World-News

Howard University

Joseph N. Boyce

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.

Accession Number

A2012.256

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/12/2012

Last Name

Boyce

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Roosevelt University

John Marshall Law School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BOY03

Favorite Season

June

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/18/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Steak, Pastry

Short Description

Newspaper editor Joseph N. Boyce (1937 - ) was the first African American reporter at the Chicago Tribune, the first African American bureau chief for Time magazine, and the first African American senior editor of the Wall Street Journal.

Employment

Chicago Police Department

Chicago Tribune

Time, Inc.

Wall Street Journal

Columbia University

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$4

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Joseph Boyce talks about how the Chicago Tribune suppressed a story on the Conrad Hilton Hotel protest during the 1968 Democratic National Convention
Joseph Boyce describes corruption in the Chicago Police Department
Transcript
All right, all right, okay, continue.$$So, meanwhile, like I said, it was chaos. And then all of a sudden, the police start pushing the crowd--the crowd back on the sidewalk at the Conrad Hilton [Hotel] to get them back up on the sidewalk. What they didn't realize was there was no place for them to go. They were up against the building. And as the police were pushing these people back, they were pushed up against the plate glass windows of the drugstore and the stores at the Conrad Hilton, and they broke the plate glass window. Some of these people were delegates. They broke the plate glass windows and fell in, and when the--you could hear the plate glass windows crack and shatter. Then the police really went crazy 'cause they thought that the demonstrators were breaking the windows. And they were beatin' people with clubs, and a photographer from the Chicago Defender ran up to the police commander and said stop your men; stop your men; these people have no place to go; you're, you're pushin 'em up. And the commander, he was lost. And he looked and he told his men to stop. They were beyond control. They didn't listen to him, and he went over to his own men and began physically pulling them off of people. Meanwhile, people were falling inside the stores in the Conrad Hilton and, of course, they were running in the stores trying to get out. Some of 'em were cut and so forth. And then the police went crazy. So that's what happened. That's what caused it. Meanwhile, the Mule Train that I was with said, let's get out of here; let's get out of here. And so they hooked up the horses--the mules--and they broke through the crowd going south and turned right at the south end of the Conrad Hilton, and I went with him. And just as we got around the corner there was a 15-year-old boy on the mule train, and he passed out in my arms. And I waited 'til somebody looked after him on, on the--on the ground, and then I started to go back to work. I went to police headquarters first, and I ran into Paul Delaney with the New York Times, who was covering it. Then I saw a woman that I knew. She had lived in Cuba. She was a lawyer. And I knew her and I told her to go home--get out of the area as fast as she can--and then I went to the Chicago Tribune. And I remember going into the city room, and I'm saying you are not gone believe what happened out there. And I started telling people in the city room what had happened, and so somebody said you need to talk to--and his last name was Murray; I can't remember his first name--who was the news editor. And he was a big kinda gruff conservative guy--said you need to talk to him to tell him what happened; that's a story. So I, I--he came over and I told him--explained what happened. And I never will forget he only had one comment to make. He said, I cannot believe that the Chicago Police would ever behave in that fashion, and he turned around on his heel and walked away. And if you look at the newspapers back at that time, every paper in Chicago, including papers also in New York and other places had that story and the Chicago Tribune did not have it. The only time the Chicago Tribune wrote about it was at the end of the week they put out a special issue on the convention. And one of the editors was a young reporter/writer who later became a columnist by the name of Michael Killian. And Michael got that story in the paper. But nobody ever came back to me and asked me what happened. What it was written from was accounts that had been in other newspapers. But that's not the first time that the Chicago Tribune changed a story I did or did something. There was one other time, and other than that it's a great paper. It was a great paper with me, but there were just a couple of the old guard there that you just couldn't deal with. One of them was Don Maxwell, who was the editor. He was the first editor after Robert McCormick.$You had a lot of them [Chicago police officers] who worked the post office and then you had a lot of them who worked the street, if you understand what I mean. I chose not to work the street, and as a result, some of my colleagues--I thought I had a reputation as a good cop, but, but you had to be careful because even, even with the reforms, there was still a lot of corruption. Years later I met a cop, and he said I know you, when I was introduced. And I said, have we met? He said no. I said well, how do you know me? And he said, you were in 3rd District, right? I said yeah. And he said, I was on the shift after yours. He said one day you were getting out of your squad car down below--Grand Crossing was on 75th and, and Maryland at that time, and the cars used to double park when they changed shifts--and he said their captain, a guy by the name of Ronnie Nash, called the whole roll call over the window and pointed me out to them as I was gettin' out of the squad car--said watch him; he's from IID-Internal Investigations Division. And the reason that he pointed me out as from being downtown is because I didn't take money, and they figured because I didn't take money that I had to be a spy.$$Now who did you--(simultaneous)--$$And this is the captain telling them that, a captain, so who could you go to?$$Yeah, I've, I've heard lots of these kinds of stories. And when you were in the department, I believe--were you there the same--you were--you were the same time as Ed Palmer [Edward L. "Buzz" Palmer], right? bu--bu--Buzz (unclear)--$$Buzz came after me.$$Did he? Okay, so you, you, you--$$Yeah, I was there from '61 [1961]--$$--had left before--$$--to '66 [1966]. I think we might have overlapped the last year or two, but I didn't know Buzz.$$What, what about ja--ja--Jack DeBonnett or DeBonnet or (laughter)?$$No, I didn't know him, uh-um. I mean, I knew most of the guys in Grand Crossing. And then after a couple of years, I became an evidence technician. And I did that for a couple of years, and then I became an instructor in law in the police academy.

Reed Kimbrough

Reed D. Kimbrough is the Director of Diversity Programs and Community Relations for Cox Communications’ Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). Kimbrough manages employee development and training at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is the eldest of three children of retired United States army officer William Reed and Ernestine Willis Kimbrough. Born in Selma, Alabama, on February 27, 1951, Kimbrough spent his formative years between West Germany and the southern United States.

Upon his return to the United States, Kimbrough graduated from high school in Fort Knox, Kentucky and entered Eastern Kentucky University where he graduated with a degree in business administration. In his second year at Eastern, he was instrumental in starting the first chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He served in the United States Army and rose to the rank of captain with his primary duties in the 101st Airborne Division as a helicopter pilot. He is a retired Major of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Kimbrough joined the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the news circulation department. He was promoted to the production department where he managed building services, shipping, receiving, packaging, distribution and management-level employee development. He currently holds the position as Director of Diversity Programs and Community Relations.

Kimbrough is active in various organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peopled (NAACP), the National Association of Minority Media Executives (NAMME), the Celebrate Life Foundation, Hands on Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity, and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the board of Men Stopping Violence and is a long term member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Kimbrough is married to Charlcye R. Kimbrough and is the father of Anthony M. Kimbrough.

Accession Number

A2005.248

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/23/2005

Last Name

Kimbrough

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Schools

Custer Elementary School

The Academy @ Shawnee

Nurnberg American High School

Fort Knox High School

Eastern Kentucky University

Vilseck Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Reed

Birth City, State, Country

Selma

HM ID

KIM01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Porto Fino, Italy

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/27/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Newspaper publishing executive Reed Kimbrough (1951 - ) was Community Relations Director and Director of Diversity Programs at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Employment

United State Army

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

United States Department of Commerce

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reed Kimbrough's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough describes his father's parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough describes his mother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough recalls drawing a plantation scene during grade school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reed Kimbrough describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reed Kimbrough describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reed Kimbrough lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reed Kimbrough describes the circumstances of his birth in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough talks about where his father was stationed

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough describes his experiences in Wiesbaden, West Germany

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough descries the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls the diverse occupants of his U.S. military housing complex in West Germany

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls moving to Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough recalls summer vacations in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough describes his paternal grandfather's land ownership and passing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough describes his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough describes his experiences on the Fort Sill U.S. military base

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his elementary school years in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough describes his childhood road trips to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough recalls living with his paternal grandmother in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough describes Bad Nauheim Elementary School in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his experience of racial discrimination in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough recalls moving to California as a young teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough remembers the Cuban Missile Crisis

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough recalls attending Shawnee Junior High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough recalls attending Nuremberg High School in Furth, Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough remembers Nuremberg American High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his extracurricular activities in Vilseck, Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough talks about the teachers at Nuremberg American High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls singing songs by The Temptations on street corners

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his military mentors and the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough remembers the Vietnam War and moving back to the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough remembers attending Fort Knox High School in Kentucky

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough describes his social activities in Fort Knox, Kentucky

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough describes his influential teachers at Fort Knox High School

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough describes the unrest after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls deciding whether to go to college or enlist

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his rejection from the United States Air Force Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough describes his decision to attend Eastern Kentucky University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his motivation to persevere in college

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough describes his college experiences

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough describes Eastern Kentucky University's Black Alumni Association

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his most influential teachers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough talks about the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls returning to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his marriage to Charlcye Ritchie Kimbrough

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough recalls working for Atlanta's Federal Reserve Bank

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough describes his career at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough recalls attending a three-day leadership development program

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough describes his volunteer work

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reed Kimbrough explains why he agreed to share his story

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough shares his message to young people

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough talks about the importance of history

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Reed Kimbrough remembers his military mentors and the Vietnam War
Reed Kimbrough recalls attending a three-day leadership development program
Transcript
And our role models were, were the men that we saw around us, [U.S.] military guys, that were doing positive things, at least moving in a positive direction. Did they have their own issues? Yeah, they probably did but those are the folks that we saw that were making decisions. They were primarily enlisted guys but they were sen- by this time they were senior enlisted guys.$$Now were these, these role models that you're speaking of, the older guys, were they black or were they white?$$They were primarily black--$$Okay.$$--about this time and now I'm talking about, you know, when I was, when I was a sophomore and then further on. Most of the officers were white, even then. I'm sure--I know there were black officers but they just weren't at, at our installation. Our installation was a training installation. So, and this is about the time that Vietnam [Vietnam War] was really getting hot. I remember it being, poking fun at a vet [veteran]. There was a group of us leaving the movie [in Vilseck, Germany], about four or five of us teenagers leaving the movie, and we saw this guy who was obviously intoxicated coming up the road and, and so we started picking fun of him. That's what, that is what military kids did. Military brats, they were teenagers and they, and they pulled pranks on folks and the only people they had to pull pranks on were soldiers who were about a few years older than them and we saw this guy coming up and he was staggering he and his buddy and we started poking fun of him and he looked at us, he said, "I'll kill you." He said, "I just got back from Vietnam," and he reached down to take his shoes off and we took off running. That was as close as Vietnam had gotten to me at that point. We had seen newsreels at the, at the movie theatre because at that time you go to the theatre, that you get, you get a newsreel and you get a cartoon and you get the feature.$$Okay.$$And I remember the bombing of the U.S. embassy, or the officers club, in Saigon [Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] and because we kept getting fed that stuff. We were very patriotic.$And at that point somebody decided that maybe I should go away and get, get my perspective widened and I went to a, a leadership development program, a three-day course, through the National Association of Minority Media Executives [National Association of Multicultural Media Executives (NAMME)] where I met some folks with some national reputations. I learned more about the newspaper business and within a year of that, less than a year of that, I was tapped to become the, the operations manager of our packaging department, which is commonly named, known as our mailroom.$$Okay, now what, how do you feel that NAMME affected that, your change in position at the newspaper [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]?$$NAMME, NAMME helped me, and it was in Chicago [Illinois], it was in Chicago at, at Kellogg [Kellogg School of Management], Northwestern [Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois]. NAMME gave me an insight into what newspapers, how newspapers can impact people and I think I always knew that but didn't really know what role I could have in that but in that three day period and doing, listening to some presentations and talking to some people, I realized that there were a lot of things in my background that I brought to the table that I had not adequately applied.$$And just what are a couple of those things that you realized?$$That business is built on relationships and that companies seek actively, leaders, people who could lead other people. I'd always decided that I would take a, as much as possible, take the backseat in terms of being a driver of anything. I felt I was better suited as a support person because I could get people to do things for me but as I thought about what, what, some of the things I share with you today, I realized that over the years I've always been kind of at the forefront, if not the leader, at least the guy that was saying, well you know, we can do this. If we just do this, we could do this. If we just did this piece, we can do this too and, you know, who knows what it'll look like in ten years and I had not done that with the newspaper. I was more plotting, I was more methodical, I want to do this, I want to do this and then we'll see what that happens. Somehow I came away from that three day period with a clearer understanding of how I could apply some of those skills, some of that leadership skill, and how it would just require a little bit of risk. Me just taking a little bit of risk and stepping outside of the comfort of my confines and I did that.