Haynes Johnson

Haynes Bonner Johnson (July 9, 1931 – May 24, 2013) was an American journalist, author, and television analyst. He reported on most of the major news stories of the latter half of the 20th century and was widely regarded as one of the top American political commentators.

Haynes Johnson
Haynes Johnson circa 2006
Johnson circa 2006
BornJuly 9, 1931
DiedMay 24, 2013 (aged 81)
Known forPulitzer Prize
Spouse(s)Julia Erwin;
Kathryn A. Oberly


Johnson was born in New York City to journalist Malcolm Johnson and Emma Ludie (née Adams), a pianist.[1] He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1952 and his master's in American history from the University of Wisconsin in 1956. He then served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in artillery during the Korean War.

Johnson had begun his newspaper career earlier in Manhattan as a copy boy for The New York Sun, where his father worked. In 1956 he began reporting for the Wilmington (Delaware) News-Journal, and the following year, Johnson joined the Washington Evening Star where he worked for 12 years, variously as a reporter, copy editor, night city editor and national reporter. He covered conflicts in the Dominican Republic and India, as well as the Vietnam War. Johnson joined The Washington Post in 1969, serving first as a National correspondent, as a special assignment correspondent at home and abroad, then as the paper's Assistant Managing Editor and finally, as a national affairs columnist.

Haynes Johnson 1970
Johnson in 1970

Johnson won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1966, for his coverage of the civil rights crisis in Selma, Alabama.[2] The award marked the first time in Pulitzer Prize history that a father and son both received awards for reporting; his father, Malcolm Johnson, won in 1949 for the New York Sun series, "Crime on the Waterfront," which was the basis for the Academy Award-winning film, On the Waterfront.[1]

He was the author or editor of sixteen books, five of them best-sellers, including his most recent work, co-authored with Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz, The Battle for America: 2008. Johnson also was a regular commentator on the PBS television shows Washington Week in Review and The News Hour.[3]

He held academic appointments at Duke University, Princeton University, University of California at Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University and served as the Knight chair of public affairs journalism at the University of Maryland from 1998 until 2013.[4][5]


He married Julia Ann Erwin in 1954; they had five children, and later divorced. In 2002, he married Kathryn Oberly.[1]


On May 24, 2013, he died of a heart attack in Bethesda, Maryland. Johnson's survivors include his wife, Kathryn A. Oberly, an associate judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and three daughters and two sons from his previous marriage, to Julia Erwin.[1]

Dan Balz, senior political reporter at the Washington Post, paid tribute to Johnson's reporting skills: "I don't say this lightly. He was a great journalist." [3] Professor and noted former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times Gene Roberts observed “He made his subjects come alive,” adding that “His writing had a flow and a polish.” [6]

Former advisor to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former Chicago Tribune political writer and current NBC News senior political analyst David Axelrod stated: "When I was a young political reporter, Haynes Johnson was one of the great, iconic journalists we all aspired to be. May he rest in peace." [7] University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said of Johnson: "He helped anchor a new generation of journalists."[8]

Johnson was scheduled to be inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists Washington DC chapter's hall of fame in June, 2013.


  • Dusk at the Mountain (1963)
  • The Bay of Pigs: The Leaders' Story of Brigade 2506 (1964)
  • Fulbright: The Dissenter, with Bernard M. Gwertzman (1968)
  • Army in Anguish, with George C. Wilson (1972)
  • The Unions, with Nick Kotz (1972)
  • Lyndon, with Richard Harwood (1973)
  • The Fall of a President, editor (1974)
  • The Working White House (1975)
  • In the Absence of Power (1980)
  • The Landing: A Novel of Washington and World War II, with Howard Simons (1986)
  • Sleepwalking Through History: America in the Reagan Years (1991)
  • Divided We Fall (1994)
  • The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point, with David Broder (1996)
  • The Best of Times: America in the Clinton Years (2001)
  • The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism (2005)
  • The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election with Dan Balz (2009)
  • Herblock: The Life and Work of the Great Political Cartoonist with Harry Katz (2009)


  1. ^ a b c d Fox, Margalit (May 24, 2013). "Haynes Johnson, Journalist and Author, Is Dead at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Haynes Johnson, Journalist and Author, Is Dead at 81". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Haynes Johnson dies at 81; won Pulitzer for civil rights coverage". The Los Angeles Times. May 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "Faculty and Staff Directory | Philip Merrill College of Journalism". Merrill.umd.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  5. ^ "Reporting Civil Rights: Reporters and Writers: Haynes Johnson". Reportingcivilrights.loa.org. 1931-07-09. Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  6. ^ "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Haynes Johnson dies at age 81". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  7. ^ "David Axelrod tweets: When I was a young political reporter, Haynes Johnson was one of the great, iconic journalists we all aspired to be. May he rest in peace. - May 25 -338312203239309312". Tweetwood.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  8. ^ "Merrill Faculty and Friends Remember Beloved Professor Haynes Johnson". Merrill.umd.edu. 2013-05-24. Archived from the original on 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2013-08-18.

External links

1966 Pulitzer Prize

The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1966.


Infatuation or being smitten is the state of being carried away by an unreasoned passion, usually towards another person for which one has developed strong romantic or platonic feelings.

Kathryn A. Oberly

Kathryn Anne Oberly (born May 22, 1950) was an Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest appellate court for the District of Columbia.

Oberly was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, where she attended the same Methodist church as a young Hillary Clinton. The two became lifelong friends, and then-Senator Clinton testified in favor of Oberly's judicial nomination in the United States Senate. After graduating from high school in 1967, Oberly attended Vassar College for two years before switching to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received her bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin, where she was an articles editor for the Wisconsin Law Review. After law school she clerked for Donald P. Lay, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, who would later officiate her wedding to Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Haynes Johnson.Oberly's legal career began at the United States Department of Justice, where she worked first at the Land and Natural Resources Division and later in the Office of the Solicitor General. She left the Justice Department in 1986 to enter private practice. In 1991, she joined Ernst & Young, becoming general counsel in 1994.In 2008, Oberly was nominated to the D.C. Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush. She joined the court in 2009 and retired in 2013.

Killingworth, Connecticut

Killingworth is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 6,455 as of July 1, 2015.

Maggie Williams

Margaret Ann Williams (born December 25, 1954) was director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and is a partner in Griffin Williams, a management-consulting firm.She was the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. Following Clinton's win in the New Hampshire primary in January 2008, Williams was brought onto the Clinton campaign staff as a senior adviser. On February 10, 2008, she replaced Patti Solis Doyle as the campaign's manager.

Malcolm Johnson (journalist)

Malcolm Johnson (September 24, 1904 – June 18, 1976) was a noted American investigative journalist of the 1940s and 1950s. His 24-part series in the New York Sun, Crime on the Waterfront, won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1949.The Sun articles formed the basis for the 1954 Elia Kazan movie On the Waterfront, which starred Marlon Brando. Unlike the articles, which described corruption and organized crime infiltration on the New York City waterfront, the movie was set across the river in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Johnson graduated from Mercer University in 1926.

He was the father of Washington Post reporter Haynes Johnson, who also won a Pulitzer Prize, making the two the first ever father and son duo to take the award.

Johnson's New York Sun articles were compiled as a book in 2005.

McBurney School

McBurney School was a college preparatory school in Manhattan run by the YMCA of Greater New York.

Among its alumni are actors Henry Winkler, Robert De Niro, Richard Thomas, physician Lewis Thomas, journalists Ted Koppel, Haynes Johnson, and Gordon Joseloff, designer/inventor Bran Ferren, musicians Adam Horovitz, Richie Birkenhead and Richard Goode, historian David Brion Davis, J.D. Salinger, and financiers Bruce Wasserstein and Felix Rohatyn.

The Boys on the Bus

The Boys on the Bus (1973) is author Timothy Crouse's seminal non-fiction book detailing life on the road for reporters covering the 1972 United States presidential campaign.The book was one of the first treatises on pack journalism ever to be published, following in the footsteps of Gay Talese's 1969 "fly on the wall" look into the New York Times called The Kingdom and the Power.

The Boys on the Bus evolved out of several articles Crouse had written for Rolling Stone. When released, the book became a best-seller and is still in print today, often being used as a standard text in many university journalism courses.

Several very recognizable reporters, whose bylines could be seen into the 21st century, are at turns critiqued, lampooned and glorified within the book, including R.W. "Johnny" Apple, Robert Novak, Walter Mears, Haynes Johnson, David Broder, Hunter S. Thompson, Thomas Oliphant, Curtis Wilkie, and Jules Witcover, not to mention the politicians they were covering: Richard M. Nixon and George McGovern. Later editions of the book contain a foreword by Thompson.

Washington Week

Washington Week—previously Washington Week in Review—is an American public affairs television program, which has aired on PBS and its predecessor, National Educational Television, since 1967. Unlike other panel discussion shows which encourage informal (sometimes vociferous) debates as a means of presentation, Washington Week consistently follows a path of civility and moderation. Its format is that of a roundtable featuring the show's moderator between two and four Washington-based journalists. Its current weekly moderator is Robert Costa.

William Sistrom

William "Billy" Sistrom (19 March 1884 – March 1972) was an English film producer. He was born in Lincolnshire, England. He began work with Universal Pictures. Later he joined RKO in 1935, where he worked on the film adaptation of Leslie Charteris' The Saint in New York. He produced 30 UK and US films between 1930 and 1949.

As well as a producer, William also worked as a studio manager. Actor Lon Chaney, Sr. tells of confronting Universal studio manager William Sistrom in 1918 demanding a payrise and contract. According to Chaney, Sistrom told him that he knew a good actor when he saw one but that looking directly at Chaney he saw only a wash-out.[1] According to their website William managed Hollywood Center Studios for a time from the 1925.[2]

Wiliam's first wife Louise Rowan had two American-born sons and three daughters microbiologist William, Hollywood producer Joseph, Suzanne, Rosemary, and Mary Louise.

During World War II, the Sistroms opened their Hollywood home to many American servicemen. One notable Army Air Corps pilot, and wannabe actor was Dan David. Dan assumed Mrs. Sistrom's maiden name as a stage name and was known as Dan Rowan. He was member of the comedy team of the 1970s TV show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

After Louise's death he married actress Rosalyn Boulter when he was 68 and she was 36. Boulter's daughter Carol Haynes Johnson, who was 8 when they married, described William as "gentle, loving, giving. I always called him 'Daddy.' Daddy came into our lives when I was about 4."[3] After the wedding, William retired, and the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he managed a turkey ranch in Buckeye, about 40 miles outside the city.

He died in March 1972 in Los Angeles, United States.

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