Hall of Fame


Hall of Fame

NABJ Hall of Fame Induction

Every year, NABJ pays homage to legendary Black journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the industry. The NABJ Board of Directors approves nominations. New inductees will be installed at the NABJ Hall of Fame Luncheon and Induction Ceremony scheduled during the annual convention.

Submit 2024 nominations here by Feb. 15.


Our 2024 inductees:

Sheila Dean Brooks, Ph.D.

Brooks is an accomplished entrepreneur, author, Emmy-award-winning journalist, and expert in multicultural marketing, energy and utilities, public health communications, and entrepreneurial education. Brooks, Founder, President and CEO of SRB Communications, has more than four decades of trailblazing leadership in media and communications in Washington, D.C. She is the founder of NABJ’s Student Multimedia Projects and previously received NABJ’s Ida B. Wells Award.

Roy S. Johnson

Johnson, one of this year’s NABJ convention co-chairs, is a Columnist and Director of Content Development for award-winning AL.com in Alabama. He writes on issues, people, policies, and trends affecting residents across the state of Alabama and beyond. He is a winner of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for best national podcast and is a 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist in Commentary. He was Editor-in-Chief of three prominent national magazines: Savoy (which he founded), Men’s Fitness and History Channel.

Dr. Jesse J. Lewis, Sr.

Lewis, a World War II veteran, is Chairman of Agency 54 and The Birmingham Times’ Publisher Emeritus. He made history as the first Black Alabama Cabinet Member and the Founder of the country’s first Black-owned PR and advertising agency in 1954. In 1964, he founded the Birmingham Times Newspaper just after the height of the Civil Rights struggle in Birmingham. He has owned or been part of at least 17 different businesses over the course of his career.

Rob Parker

Parker is a pioneer in sports journalism. In his 37-year career, Parker has both broken barriers and reached back to lift up younger sports writers coming behind him. Parker was named the NABJ Sports Task Force Journalist of the Year in 2018. Currently, Parker is Co-host of a nightly national show with Chris Broussard called “The Odd Couple” on FOX Sports Radio. He is an Analyst for MLB Network and Founder and Editor of MLBbro.com.

Randall Pinkston

Pinkston has been a witness to some of broadcast journalism’s key moments in history. During his four decades as a working journalist, Pinkston was a White House Correspondent covering President George Herbert Walker Bush. He was one of the first journalists in Tora Bora Afghanistan reporting on the search for Osama bin Laden. Two years later, Pinkston volunteered for service in Iraq and was in Baghdad when Saddam Hussein was executed. In Haiti, he reported on the effort to return Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. As an Adjunct Professor, Pinkston has shared his experience with future journalists at Columbia University, Morgan State University and many more.

Dave Roberts

Roberts is Head of NBA and Studio Production at ESPN, leading ESPN’s NBA and WNBA production. Roberts oversees production for all regular-season and playoff games, punctuated by the NBA and WNBA Finals, as well as studio content including NBA Countdown and NBA Today. He also leads production for First Take, the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, Get Up, PTI, Around The Horn, This Just In, ESPN Audio content, and ESPN digital shows. In 2020, he was named to the Cablefax Diversity List, recognizing the most influential diverse executives in the industry. 

Gwen Tolbart

Tolbart is an Emmy-award-winning television broadcaster. She is a Weather Anchor and Feature Reporter at WTTG FOX5DC in Washington, D.C., where she has impacted the community and told powerful stories for the last 21 years. Her career began in her hometown of Montreal, Quebec as host of the Black Community Communications Media’s show, “Black Is.” A trailblazer, she was the first African Canadian Weather Anchor on both Canada’s national “The Weather Network” and Montreal’s CTV’s CFCF-12.

Our 2022 inductees: 

  • Drew Berry – Executive Director, NABJ
  • Michelle V. Agins – Photographer, The New York Times
  • Charles W. “Hoppy” Adams, Jr. (Posthumously) – Executive Vice President, WANN/WXTC
  • Harry D. Boomer – Anchor/Senior Reporter, Cleveland 19 News
  • Tanya K. Hart – Producer/Host, Hollywood Live, American Urban Radio Networks
  • Levi Henry, Jr. – Founder/Publisher, Westside Gazette Newspaper
  • Cheryl Smith – Publisher-Editor, I Messenger Media


Our 2021 inductees: 

  • A.J. Smitherman, Tulsa Star (posthumously)
  • Claire Smith, Temple University /MLB Writer
  • Cornelius “Neil” Foote Jr., Foote Communications, LLC/ University of North Texas
  • Kirk McKoy, Kirk McKoy Photography, Formerly L.A. Times
  • Monica Roberts, TransGriot (posthumously)
  • Rochelle Riley, ​​City of Detroit/Author
  • Rodney A. Brooks, U.S. News & World Report/Author
  • Roland S. Martin,  #RolandMartinUnfiltered/Black Star Network


Our 2020 inductees:

  • Fred Sweets, Photographer and Editor
  • Pam Johnson, Former Director, School of Journalism, Western Kentucky University
  • Pam Oliver, Senior Correspondent and FOX NFL Reporter
  • Mary Mitchell, Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
  • John McCaa, Longtime Anchor, WFAA
  • Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson
 Urban One, Inc.
  • Clarice Tinsley, Longtime FOX4 Reporter and Anchor


Our 2019 inductees:

  • Bob Black – Photojournalist
  • Garry D. Howard – Sports Journalist/Editor
  • “The Fly Jock” Tom Joyner – Radio Personality/Philanthropist
  • Wanda Lloyd – Editor/Educator
  • The Washington Post Metro Seven – Former Washington Post Reporters


Our 2018 inductees:

  • Albert Dunmore, Editor and Publisher, Michigan Chronicle
  • Bob Ray Sanders, Director of Communications, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Louis Martin, Managing Editor, Michigan Chronicle
  • Victoria Jones, Producer, WHDH-TV
  • William Rhoden, Columnist, ESPN’s – The Undefeated


Our 2017 inductees:

  • Michael Days, Editor, Reader Engagement / Vice President at Philadelphia Media Network
  • John Jenkins,  News Operations Manager, KXAS-TV (Retired)
  • Rev. Aisha Karimah,  Community Affairs Director, WRC-TV (Retired)
  • Garth C. Reeves, Sr., Publisher Emeritus, Miami Times


Our 2015-2016 inductees: 

  • NABJ Founders Hall of Fame inductees:
    • Norma Adams-Wade
    • Joel Dreyfuss
    • Pluria Marshall
    • Carole Bartel
    • Sam Ford
    • Acel Moore
    • Edward Blackwell
    • David Gibson
    • Luix Overbea
    • Paul Brock
    • Sandra Gilliam-Beale
    • Claudia Polley
    • Reginald Bryant
    • Bob Greenlee
    • Alex Poinsett
    • Crispin Campbell
    • Martha Griffin
    • Richard Rambeau
    • Marilyn Darling
    • Derwood Hall
    • Leon Dash
    • Bob Hayes
    • Jeannye Thornton
    • Joe Davidson
    • Toni Jones
    • Francis Ward
    • Allison J. Davis
    • Charlotte Roy
    • Paul Delaney
    • Claude Lewis
    • Vince Sanders
    • William Dilday
    • Sandra Dawson Long Weaver
    • John C. White
    • Sandra Dillard
    •  DeWayne Wickham
    • Curtis Riddle
    • Chuku Lee


  • NABJ Hall of Fame inductees: 
    • Tony Brown: Broadcast journalism legend, producer and host of  “Tony Brown’s Journal,” the longest-running national Black-affairs TV series in history.
    • Monica Kaufman Pearson:  First African American and first woman to anchor a daily evening Atlanta television news broadcast.
    • Dorothy Leavell:  Chicago-based crusading force and voice of the Black Press in America
    • Austin Long-Scott:  Integrated the Associated Press full-time reporting staff, powerful Washington Post and Los Angeles times social justice writer and journalism educator
    • Jacqueline Trescott:  Compelling and ground-breaking writer for the Washington Post on the cultural life and achievements of African Americans
    • John H. White:  Chicago’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and photojournalism educator


  • NABJ Hall of Fame Posthumous inductees
    • Charles Gerald Fraser:  New York Times journalism pioneer and inspirational mentor for generations of reporters
    • Dori Maynard:President of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and advocate for diversity in American journalism
    • Gil Noble:  Producer and host of WABC-TV’s iconic program, “Like It Is”
    • Stuart Scott: ESPN sportscaster who was known for infusing his reports with a blend of pop culture references, slang and exuberant phrases that made him something of a pop culture figure in his own right.
    • Morrie Turner:  Creator of “Wee Pals”, the first syndicated comic strip with racially and ethnically diverse characters
    • L. Alex Wilson:  Courageous reporter of the Civil Rights Movement for Sengstacke Newspapers in the 1950s


Our 2014 inductees:

  • Herb Boyd: Herb Boyd has authored or edited 22 books, including the recent Civil Rights: Yesterday & Today. His book Baldwin’s Harlem was finalist for a 2009 NAACP Image Award. In 1995, with Robert Allen, he received an American Book Award for Brotherman–The Odyssey of Black Men in America.
  • Maureen Bunyan: Maureen Bunyan is a veteran television news broadcaster and a primary anchor for ABC 7 in Washington, DC. Named a “Washingtonian of the Year” in 1992, Ms. Bunyan has an extensive record of service to the community.
  • Jay Harris: Between 1975 and 1982, Jay Harris was on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and served as assistant dean of the school. In 1978, he designed and launched the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ annual national census of minority employment in daily newspapers.
  • Moses Newson: Moses Newson risked his life covering some of the most notable events of the civil rights movement, including the funeral of George Lee, the Emmett Till murder trial, school desegregation in Little Rock and the 1961 Freedom Rides, where his bus was attacked in Anniston, Alabama.
  • Bernard Shaw: Bernard Shaw began his career in Chicago at WNUS TV, then later joined CBS News and ABC news, becoming its Capitol Hill Senior Correspondent. Shaw retired from CNN in 2001 after being the face of the cable network since its inception in 1980. During that time, Shaw commanded the anchor desk and boldly steered the national conversation even when taking on positions of adversity.
  • Zelda Ormes (Posthumous): Jackie Ormes (1911-1985, née Zelda Mavin Jackson) was the first African American woman newspaper cartoonist. She pushed the art of the newspaper cartoon and comic strip in a new direction with her smart, beautiful, handsome, and fashionable Black characters that challenged the stereotypes and caricatures in the mainstream press.
  • Ernest Dunbar (Posthumous): Ernest Dunbar was a globetrotting journalist who made his mark as the first black reporter at Look magazine in 1954. A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Dunbar earned a B.A. in journalism from Temple University in 1954, where he was editor of the university newspaper. He did graduate work in journalism at Northwestern University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in journalism from Temple in 1971.
  • Lee Thornton (Posthumous): Dr. Lee Thornton received a master’s degree in rhetoric and public address from Michigan State University in 1968 and a doctorate in radio, television and film studies from Northwestern University in 1973. She joined CBS News in 1974 and, from 1977 to 1981, covered the Carter White House. In 1977, Lee Thornton became the first black woman to cover the White House regularly for CBS. She worked for the CBS affiliate in Detroit before joining National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” program in 1982 as a weekend host.


Our 2013 inductees: 

  • Betty Bayé: For more than 25 years Betty Bayé worked as a reporter, editor, and editorial page writer at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the only African-American editorial writer and columnist on staff. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna is well-regarded for her bold and insightful commentaries on race, equity and justice, and African-American history and culture.
  • Simeon Booker: Simeon Booker made history as the first African-American staff reporter at The Washington Post after having completed a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. Booker who began his career at The Afro-American Newspapers would become best known for his incisive coverage of the civil rights movement for Jet Magazine.
  • Alice Dunnigan (Posthumous): In the latter part of her life Alice Dunnigan wrote her autobiography “A Black Woman’s Experience: From Schoolhouse to White House” which chronicled her life growing up in Kentucky, where she began her career as a teacher. Later she would become a Washington correspondent for The Associated Negro Press where her specializing in politics led her to become the first African-American woman credentialed to cover The White House, the Congress, and the State Department. Dunnigan also famously covered Harry Truman’s presidential campaign.
  • Sue Simmons: Sue Simmons is an iconic anchorwoman whose career took her from New Haven, to Baltimore, to Washington, DC before she headed home to her native New York where she would anchor the evening news at WNBC-TV, NBC’s flagship station for 32 years.
  • Wendell Smith(Posthumous): Wendell Smith began his career as a sportswriter writing for the Pittsburgh Courier. Later his knowledge of baseball led him to be a scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Smith helped convince Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey that Jackie Robinson should be the man to integrate baseball. Later he resumed his journalism career and covered the White Sox for theChicago Sun-Times. Smith has his own place in history as the first African-American member of BBWAA the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
  • Cynthia Tucker:An award-winning author, producer, public speaker and former deputy bureau chief for Time Magazine.


Our 2012 inductees: 

  • Gwen Ifill: Moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour.”  She is also the best-selling author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”
  • Pat Harvey: A sixteen-time Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist who co-anchors CBS2 (Los Angeles) 5 and 11 pm broadcasts.
  • Ruth Allen Ollison: Started up the NBC affiliate news department in Tyler, TX. After two decades in the broadcasting industry, sought to transform the conditions in Houston, TX that she had covered for so long as a journalist.
  • Johnathan Rodgers: Former TV One President and CEO who under his leadership, the network, which serves nearly 53 million adults, has become recognized as the quality programming for African-Americans.
  • Wallace Terry: An award-winning author, producer, public speaker and former deputy bureau chief for Time magazine. (Posthumous induction).


Our 2011 inductees: 

  • Ed Bradley: George Foster Peabody and Emmy award winning journalist best known for his 26 year run on the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes. (Posthumous induction)
  • Merri Dee: 30 year veteran of Chicago broadcasting and former evening anchor for Chicago’s WGN-TV.
  • JC Hayward: One of Washington DC’s most respected broadcasters whose Emmy award winning career has included more than 36 years as an anchor and reporter at WUSA Channel 9.
  • Eugene Robinson: Pulitzer Prize winner who served as the Associate Editor and twice-weekly columnist for the Washington Post.
  • Ray Taliaferro: Veteran radio journalist who’s career spans almost 25 years for San Francisco’s “The Early Show” on KGO NEWSTALK AM 810.


Our 2009 inductees: 

  • Earl Caldwell: Reporter and early Civil Rights Activist (New York)
  • Peggy Peterman (posthumous): St. Petersburg Times (Florida); (posthumous)
  • Lynn Norment: Editor, EBONY Magazine (Chicago)
  • Larry Whiteside: Reporter, The Boston Globe (Boston), (posthumous)


Our 2008 inductees:

  • Charles E. Cobb, Jr.: AllAfrica.com
  • Belva Davis: KQED-TV (San Francisco)
  • Vernon Jarrett: Chicago Tribune (posthumous)
  • Les Payne: Newsday columnist


Our 2007 inductees: 

  • Xernona Clayton-Brady: Trumpet Awards founder and broadcast pioneer
  • Merv Aubespin: Past NABJ President, 1983-1985 Artist, reporter and editor The Courier-Journal
  • John L. Dotson, Jr.: Former president and publisher, Akron Beacon Journal, Co-founder, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
  • Jim Vance: Co-anchor, WRC-TV


Our 2006 inductees: 

  • Lerone Bennett Jr.: Executive Editor Emeritus, Ebony magazine
  • Al Fitzpatrick: Former Executive Editor, Knight-Ridder
  • William Raspberry, Columnist, The Washington Post


Our 2005 inductees: 

  • Charles “Teenie” Harris: Photojournalist
  • Charlayne Hunter-Gault: Broadcast Journalist & Author
  • Max Robinson: Founding NABJ Member & Former ABC News Anchor
  • Carole Simpson: Former ABC Anchor & World News Tonight Sunday

Our 2004 inductees: 

  • John H. Johnson: Publisher and Chairman, Johnson Publishing Co.
  • Robert Maynard: Co-founder, Institute for Journalism Education
  • Chuck Stone: Founding NABJ President


Our 1990 inductees: 

  • Dorothy Butler Gilliam: “Magnetic presence” as a reporter, editor and columnist at The Washington Post.
  • Mal H. Goode: Broke color barrier in network broadcast journalism as ABC News reporter in 1962.
  • Mal Johnson: A founding NABJ member, longtime correspondent for Cox Broadcasting Co.
  • Gordon Parks: Renowned photojournalist at Life magazine, author, filmmaker.
  • Ted Poston: Called “dean of black journalists” during New York Post career (1930’s-1960’s).
  • Norma Quarles: Veteran network anchor and correspondent at NBC News, CNN and PBS.
  • Carl T. Rowan: Renowned columnist once called nation’s “most visible black journalist.”


Legendary Inductees: 

  • Robert S. Abbott: Founded the Chicago Defender, which helped create the Great Migration to the North.
  • Samuel E. Cornish: Co-publisher, Freedoms Journal, the nation’s first black newspaper.
  • Frederick Douglass: A former slave and the nation’s most prominent abolitionist and the publisher of the North Star.
  • W.E.B. DuBois: A NAACP founder and creator and first editor of its magazine, The Crisis.
  • T. Thomas Fortune: One of the most prominent black journalists in the post-Civil War era.
  • Ethel Payne: First Lady of the Black Press, D.C. correspondent for Sengstacke Newspapers.
  • Marcus Garvey: Journalist for Africa Times and Orient Review, publisher of Negro World.
  • John B. Russwurm: Co-publisher, Freedoms Journal, the nation’s first black newspaper.
  • John Sengstacke: Founder of Michigan Chronicle and publisher of Chicago Defender and Pittsburgh Courier.
  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Newspaper editor, crusader against segregation and lynching in United States.