George Curry: Remembering the Journalist & Civil Rights Crusader

Iconic journalist George Curry dies at 69. (Photo: Google Images)

Iconic journalist George Curry dies at 69.
(Photo: Google Images)

 

AL.com is reporting funeral plans have been set for George E. Curry, a journalist, civil rights activist and publisher whose syndicated column ran in hundreds of black-owned newspapers around the United States. The Laurel, Maryland, resident died suddenly over the weekend. He was 69.

Stacy Brown, National Newspaper Publishers of America (NNPA) newswire contributor writes:

“The Black Press lost one of it’s most celebrated warriors when George Curry, veteran journalist and former Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA News Wire, died from an apparent heart attack on Saturday, August 20. Curry was 69…

‘On behalf of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), we are all saddened and heartbroken by the sudden passing of one of our most admired, respected, and gifted colleagues, George E. Curry,’ said NNPA President Dr. Benjamin Chavis. ‘Black America, and in fact millions of African people all over the world, had come to know George Curry as a fearless scholar and writer who used his pen and wit to aggressively advance the cause of freedom, justice and equality for Black people and for the whole of humanity.’

Chavis continued: ‘George was our trusted comrade on the frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement and on the front pages of the Black Press of America. We will miss him.’

It’s hard to believe that Curry, who led the NNPA as Editor-In-Chief of its news wire from 2003 to 2007 and then from 2012 to 2015, has died, said Washington Informer Publisher and NNPA Chair Denise Rolark Barnes, who called Curry a giant in the journalism profession.

‘As publisher of ‘The Washington Informer,’ I admired George’s leadership as Editor-In-Chief of ‘Emerge,’ the preeminent monthly news magazine targeting issues impacting African-Americans,” Rolark Barnes said. “George’s uncompromising journalistic leadership delivered on Emerge’s promise to deliver edgy, hard-hitting, intellectual, well-written and thoroughly researched content that attracted national attention and left an indelible mark on the lives of many.

‘As a member and now chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, I was honored to carry George’s weekly column in ‘The Washington Informer’ and to work with him while he served as Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA News Wire. George provided so much of his time, energy, wisdom and incredible journalistic genius to the Black Press,’ she said.

‘His work will stand as a lasting legacy of journalistic excellence and integrity of which all of us in the Black Press and the journalism industry at-large can feel extremely proud. My prayers and sympathy extend to his family and closest companions. He will be sorely missed.’

Freddie Allen, the managing editor of the NNPA News Wire, called Curry an icon in the Black Press and said that his legacy of mentoring young journalists will bear fruit for many years to come.

Recently, Allen and Curry were part of a Black media delegation that worked with the Black AIDS Institute to cover the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

‘George taught me what it meant to be a professional journalist and also about the importance of working in the Black Press,” Allen said. “His writing and insight on critical issues affecting the Black community will be sorely missed. I’m thankful for the time we spent together in Durban.’

Curry was a consummate journalist with integrity as his mantra, said Dorothy R. Leavell, publisher of the Crusader newspapers in Chicago and Gary, Indiana.’

‘We shall miss this voice of reason and thought-provoking columns full of researched facts.”

Curry is being laid to rest on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. The Rev. Al Sharpton is scheduled to give the eulogy at Weeping Mary Baptist Church. A public viewing will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Friday.

Read more about Curry at the Chicago Crusader.

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