Robert McGruder, a Detroit newspaper Icon
*Robert G. McGruder: was born on this date in 1942. He was an African American journalist.
From Louisville, Ky., he grew up in Dayton, Ohio and overcame polio as a child. McGruder was a 1963 graduate of Kent State University. He was drafted into the U.S. Army a year later and served two years in Washington, D.C. He married in 1969 and his news career began with the Cleveland Plain Dealer as a reporter, city editor and managing editor. He then joined the Detroit Free Press in June 1986 as deputy managing editor, managing editor/news and managing editor. McGruder was named Free Press executive editor in 1996.
He was a past president of the Associated Press Managing Editors; director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a member of the National Association of Minority Media Executives. McGruder was on the Journalism Advisory Committee for the Knight Foundation; trustee of the Foundation for American Communications; on the board of the American Press Institute. He was also a director of the Michigan Press Association and an advisory board member of the Institute for Minority Journalists at Wayne State University. McGruder was also on Pulitzer Prize juries in 1986, '87, '90, '91 and '98.
As a journalist he received many awards including: The John S. Knight Medal, highest employee honor given by Knight Ridder Inc.; the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award from Wayne State University; and the William Taylor Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State School of Journalism. Robert McGruder died in April 2002.
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