Sam Lacy, journalist and advocate
Sam Lacy’s birth in 1903 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American journalist.
Lacy grew up in Washington, D.C., played semi-pro baseball, coached municipal basketball, attended Howard University, and performed assorted odd jobs before becoming a professional sportswriter. Lacy's career in print journalism began in the 1920s, working as a sports writer at the Washington Tribune under the guidance of Editor Lewis Lautier. He was managing editor and sports editor there from 1934-39, before moving to Chicago as assistant national editor for the Chicago Defender from 1940-43.
He returned to Baltimore to become a columnist and sports editor for the weekly Baltimore Afro-American Newspapers, positions he still holds today. He wrote the widely popular column "A to Z" for many years. Through 17 presidential elections this crusader in the 1930s and '40s, devoted his columns to desegregating baseball in the major leagues. He became a renowned journalist as well as a civil rights leader. Lacy's career in journalism began in the 1920s, working as a sports writer at the Washington Tribune under the tutelage of Editor Lewis Lautier. He was both managing editor and sports editor of the paper from 1934-1939, before moving to Chicago to become a national editor with the Chicago Defender.
He later moved to Baltimore as sports editor and columnist for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. Lacy, 95, has been "fighting for fairness" for Afro-American athletes for almost 65 years, railing against racism and segregation that prevailed for decades in U.S. sports, courts and legislatures. Lacy is recognized, as a pioneer in baseball journalism. He was one of the first African-American members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and a 1997 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. During his career, Lacy covered the careers of many Black athletes and numerous sporting events, including six Olympic Games.
As a result of his efforts, he has received many awards given by sports, journalism and academic establishments. In 1998, he was inducted into the "writers' wing" of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sam Lacy died on may 8, 2003
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