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.
I am saddened beyond words upon hearing of the death of George Curry, Publisher of Emerge Magazine. He was a giant and trailblazer. RIP.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) August 21, 2016
RIP #GeorgeCurry. A terrific journalist, ground breaking newsmakers, columnist and writer. No one understood the journey better. Peace
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) August 21, 2016
As publisher of #Emerge, I often joked that #GeorgeCurry was stuck in the 60s. It was indeed the best compliment. https://t.co/rJmX5nNAcp
— Debra Lee (@IamDebraLee) August 21, 2016
George Curry loved us so much. And he gave freely, without worry of reciprocity or reward. He was a hero. This hurts.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) August 21, 2016
George Curry gave me my first job out of college. He pushed my work to new limits. We truly lost a great one. https://t.co/S9mqK3zbys
— Maya Rhodan (@m_rhodan) August 22, 2016
RIP #GeorgeCurry. @TIME called his Emerge: "uncompromising voice that made [it] nation’s best black news magazine.” https://t.co/IXPcbCUqff
— Kevin B. Blackistone (@ProfBlackistone) August 21, 2016
Suffice to say, we all laughed a lot when #GeorgeCurry was in the house. A committed brother who did not lose sight of life & light. RIP
— gwen ifill (@gwenifill) August 21, 2016