National Press Club

Simeon Booker, 1982 Fourth Estate Awardee, nominated for Congressional Gold Medal

February 8, 2017

Simeon Booker

Simeon Booker

Representative Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and 16 other Representatives have co-sponsored a bill to give National Press Club life member Simeon Booker a Congressional Gold Medal “in recognition of his achievements in the field of journalism, including reporting during the Civil Rights movement, as well as social and political commentary.”

Born in 1918, Booker joined the Club in 1956, the second African-American member, and was the 1982 Fourth Estate Award winner. He was the first African American reporter for The Washington Post and one of the last people to interview Martin Luther King, Jr. on television, according to Encylopedia.com.

In his Fourth Estate Award address he said, “I had a compelling ambition to fight segregation on the front line. I stayed on the road covering civil rights day and night…. We ducked into funeral homes at night to photograph the battered bodies of civil rights victims…. The names, the places and the events became history,” according to the site.

"He is a highly-respected journalist who has covered every presidential election since 1953, and is the author of two highly acclaimed books," Michelle Nicks, Reporter for WMFJ, an Ohio site wrote.

"Booker began his career writing about Negro League baseball teams for the Youngstown Vindicator," she reported.

Congressman Ryan says he couldn't think of a more worthy American to receive Congress's highest honor than Booker, she also wrote.