Ashmore, Harry S.

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1917-07-28
Death 1998-01-20
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Harry S. Ashmore (1916-1998) was an American journalist and author. During his tenure as executive editor of the Arkansas Gazette, the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service (1957) for its coverage of the school integration conflict in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1959 he relocated to California where he worked with the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara (1959-1974) and served as editor in chief of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1960-1963). He is the author of eleven books, many of them on civil rights and race in America.

From the guide to the Harry S. Ashmore Papers, 1957-1974, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Harry S. Ashmore was born in Greenville, S.C., July 27, 1916. He died in Santa Barbara, CA on January 20, 1998. He was a member of the Center for Democratic Institutions (CSDI) board of directors, 1958-1979. He served as Executive Vice-President of CSDI, 1967-1969, 1974-1975; President, 1970-1974. He was Fellow of the Center, 1965-1983; Senior Fellow, 1969-1975; Associate, 1975-1983. He was a reporter, writer, and editor with several newspapers, including Executive Editor, Arkansas Gazette. He was a recipient , of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1958. Editor in Chief, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1960-1963. Several publications include: The Negro and the Schools; An Epitaph for Dixie; The Other Side of Jordan; The Man in the Middle; Mass Communications; Mission to Hanoi; Fear in the Air; Broadcasting and the First Amendment; The Anatomy of a Constitutional Crisis; The William O. Douglas Inquiry into the State of Individual Freedom, Hearts and Minds; The Anatomy of Racism from Roosevelt to Reagan; Unseasonable Truths; The Life of Robert Maynard Hutchins; Civil Rights and Wrongs: A Memoir of Race and Politics.

In 1955-56, he served as personal assistant to Adlai Stevenson in the campaign for the Democratic nomination. Prior to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision terminating racial segregation in public education, Mr. Ashmore directed a task force of 45 scholars in a definitive survey of bi-racial education in the United States for the Fund for the Advancement of Education.

From the description of The Harry S. Ashmore Collection, [ca. 1922-1997] (bulk dates 1950s-1980s) (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 71526302

Biography

From Ashmore Civil Rights Commission Nomination files, 1976:

[Harry Ashmore] was born in Greenville, S.C., in 1916. He received his undergraduate education at Clemson College, and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He has been awarded LL.D. degrees by Oberlin, Grinnell, and the University of Arkansas.

He began his journalistic career in Greenville, serving as reporter for the afternoon Piedmont, and later as political writer and state capitol correspondent for the morning News .

In 1941 Mr. Ashmore entered the army, and saw combat service in the European Theatre with the 95th Infantry Division. He rose from second lieutenant to lieutenant-colonel, and after V-E day was assigned to the War Department general staff. He was awarded the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters.

In 1945 he went to the Charlotte (N.C.) News as editor. In 1947 Mr. Ashmore joined the Arkansas Gazette as executive editor, and in 1957 he and the Gazette were awarded the first double Pulitzer Prizes in history for distinguished service in the Little Rock school integration controversy. He was also awarded the 1957 Sidney Hillman Award. He has served as a director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Prior to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision terminating racial segregation in public education, Mr. Ashmore directed a task force of 45 scholars in a definitive survey of bi-racial education in the United States for the Fund for the Advancement of Education.

In 1955-56 he served as personal assistant to Adlai Stevenson in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. He has been Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the California Democratic Party.

From 1960 to 1963 Mr. Ashmore served as editor-in chief of Encyclopaedia Britannica . He has been a correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune . He has written articles for many leading magazines, and is the author of seven books [...] He is the editor of Encyclopaedia Britannica's three-volume Perspectives (1968). In 1973-74 he was Senior Fellow in Communications at Duke University. In 1975 he was the first Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Ashmore is vice chairman of the ACLU national Advisory Council, and a member of the Board of the National Committee for an Effective Congress.

From the CSDI Collection guide (Mss 18):

Born: Greenville, S.C., July 27, 1916. Died: Santa Barbara, Jan. 20, 1998. CSDI: Member, Board of Directors, 1958-1979; Executive Vice-President, 1967-1969, 1974-1975; President, 1970-1974; Fellow of the Center, 1965-1983; Senior Fellow, 1969-1975; Associate, 1975-1983. Reporter, writer, editor with several newspapers, including Executive Editor, Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, 1948-1959; on leave as Assistant to Stevenson for President campaign, 1955-1956. Recipient, Pulitzer Prize, editorial writing, 1958. Editor in Chief, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1960-1963; Developer, Editorial Projects, 1963-1966; Chairman, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, 1962-1967; Editor of Britannica Perspectives, 1964-1968. Publications include: The Negro and the Schools (1954), An Epitaph for Dixie (1958), The Other Side of Jordan (1960), The Man in the Middle (1966), Mass Communications (with W. H. Ferry, 1966), Mission to Hanoi: A Chronicle of Double-dealing in High Places (with William C. Baggs, 1968), Fear in the Air; Broadcasting and the First Amendment: The Anatomy of a Constitutional Crisis (1973), The William O. Douglas Inquiry into the State of Individual Freedom (1979), Hearts and Minds: The Anatomy of Racism from Roosevelt to Reagan (1982), Unseasonable Truths: The Life of Robert Maynard Hutchins (1989), and Civil Rights and Wrongs: A Memoir of Race and Politics 1944-1994 (1994).

From the guide to the Harry S. Ashmore Collection, ca. 1922-1997, 1950s-1980s, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections)

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Ark ID:
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Subjects:

  • Race relations--United States
  • International relations
  • Journalism
  • Race relations and the press
  • African Americans--Southern States
  • Freedom of the press--United States
  • Civil rights--United States

Occupations:

  • Authors
  • Journalists

Places:

  • Arkansas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)