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George Curry

Journalists, others mourn the loss of civil rights journalist George Curry

Friends and followers of Curry shared condolences and fond memories on social media

Journalists from around the country took to social media to offer condolences and share memories after learning of the death of civil rights journalist George Curry, who died Saturday of heart failure at the age of 69.

On Monday, TV One’s NewsOne Now host Roland Martin dedicated a segment of his show to Curry’s life and legacy. Martin invited other journalists and close friends of Curry to share their memories, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, syndicated columnist Clarence Page and journalist Ed Gordon, during the emotional segment.

“It was not my plan to shed tears during that tribute to #GeorgeCurry,” Martin posted to Facebook after the show. “But seeing that Facebook post, knowing that he sent it right before he died, caused me to lose it.”

Those sentiments were shared by many whose lives were touched by a man described as a longtime black press champion, well-known for his bold, weekly columns and passion for developing and mentoring journalists of color.

Curry’s career in professional journalism career began in 1970 when he was hired as a reporter for Sports Illustrated. He was the second African-American to be hired by the publication at that time. Two years later, Curry settled into a new role as a beat reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before joining the Chicago Tribune as one of the paper’s Washington, D.C. correspondents. Curry’s editorial experience led to one of his most successful stints as editor-in-chief of the cultural publication Emerge Magazine. The magazine was nationally recognized for its thought-provoking cultural and political content, winning more than 40 journalism awards before the magazine folded in 2003.

“This is a tragic loss to the movement because George Curry was a journalist who paid special attention to civil rights because he lived it and loved it,” Southern Christian Leadership Conference chairman Bernard Lafayette told Trice Edney News Wire.

Many journalists, friends and followers of Curry shared reactions and memories on Twitter.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.