Bennett, Lerone, 1928-....

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Historian Lerone Bennett served as the executive editor ofEbonyfor almost forty years. His written work deftly explored the history of race relations in the United States as well as the current environment in which African Americans strive for equality. Bennett was born on October 17, 1928, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, to Lerone and Alma Reed Bennett. When Bennett was young, his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, and it was here, while attending Jackson's public schools, that Bennett's interest in journalism was initiated.

Bennett attended Morehouse College, earning a B.A. in 1949. He always considered Morehouse as the center of his academic development. After graduating, Bennett formally entered the world of journalism as a reporter for the now defunctAtlanta Daily World. He became the city editor for the magazine and worked there until 1953, when he began his work as an associate editor atJetmagazine in Chicago, Illinois. In 1954, Bennett became an associate editor atEbonyand he was promoted to senior editor of the magazine in 1958. Since then, his comprehensive articles became one of the magazine's literary hallmarks.

A series of articles originally published inEbonyresulted in Bennett's first book, a seminal piece of work,Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, 1619-1962. The book, with its comprehensive examination of the history of African Americans in the United States, gave Bennett the reputation of a first-class popular historian. In his eight subsequent books, Bennett continued to document the historical forces shaping the Black experience in the United States. His other works included:What Manner of Man?, Pioneers In ProtestandThe Shaping of Black America.

Bennett received numerous awards such as the Literature Award of the Academy of Arts and Letters, Book of the Year Award from Capital Press Club and the Patron Saints Award from the Society of Midland Authors. He served as advisor and consultant to several national organizations and commissions, including the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Bennett's articles, short stories and poems have been translated into five languages.

Bennett passed away on February 14, 2018 at age 89.

From The HistoryMakers™ biography:

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Mildred P. Reid Mounger papers, 1904-1988 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kanas Collection
referencedIn Lincoln University (Pa.). Honorary degree recipients collection, 1868-1989 (bulk 1940-1989). Lincoln University, Langston Hughes Memorial Library, Langston Hughes Memorial Library
referencedIn Fuller, Hoyt, 1923-1981. Hoyt Fuller papers, 1940-1981. Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf The HistoryMakers Video Oral History with Lerone Bennett The HistoryMakers
Relation Name
associatedWith Fuller, Hoyt, 1923-1981. person
associatedWith Lincoln University (Pa.) corporateBody
associatedWith Reid, Mildred P., 1916-1999 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Clarksdale (Miss.)
Chicago (Ill.)


Birth 1928-10-17

Birth 19281017

Death 20180214





Ark ID: w6pw4f71

SNAC ID: 65211620