The Washington Post has reported today (Tuesday, July 17, 2012) that its longtime columnist William Raspberry died today of prostate cancer. He was 76.
Raspberry was the 1995 recipient of the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, presented at that year’s conference, in Kansas City, Mo.
The Post article notes that he wrote columns for some 40 years, retiring in 2005. His views were syndicated to more than 200 newspapers.
Raspberry, according to the article, viewed the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s “not as a participant but from the detached perspective of a reporter. … He received pointed criticism from the right and the left.”
“I am sure that I disagreed with him on a number of things,” civil rights leader Vernon E. Jordan Jr. told the newspaper. “He had a way of telling you to go to hell and making you look forward to the trip.”
The Post’s editorial board published its own remembrance, noting Raspberry
demonstrated that civility and principle can co-exist, that passion doesn’t preclude compromise and that people can hold on to their convictions without insisting that anyone who disagrees is evil. His way of stating his opinions with an understanding that they might sometimes be wrong, and of listening respectfully to other views, distinguished Mr. Raspberry. …
The NSNC conveys its condolences to his wife, children, mother and his other relatives and friends.