|James Wesley Pruden, Jr.|
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
|Alma mater||University of Arkansas at Little Rock|
|Occupation||Journalist with The Washington Times|
Pruden was born in 1935 in Little Rock, Arkansas, his family having lived in the state for several generations. His father, James Wesley Pruden, Sr. (1908-1979), was a Southern Baptist minister, the pastor of the Grace Baptist Church, a radio evangelist, and the president of the Little Rock chapter of the White Citizens' Council, a segregationist Democratic group that battled integration throughout the 1950s and 1960s. When U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower sent United States Army troops to protect nine black teenagers attempting to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, the senior Pruden reportedly told an assembled mob, "That's what we gotta fight, niggers, Communists, and cops." 
Pruden's first job in the newspaper business was in 1951 when, as a tenth grade student at Little Rock Central High School, he worked nights as a copyboy at the since defunct Arkansas Gazette, where he later became a sportswriter and an assistant state editor. After high school, he attended a two-year college, Little Rock Junior College, now incorporated into the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
In 1956, he began working at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1963, he joined the National Observer, a national weekly published by Dow Jones & Co., for which he covered national politics and the civil rights movement. In 1965, he was assigned to cover the Vietnam War. For the next decade, he was a foreign correspondent, based in Saigon, Hong Kong, Beirut, and London. The National Observer ceased publication in 1976.
Between 1976 and 1982, Pruden worked on a novel, a satire for which he could not find a publisher. In 1982, he joined the Washington Times, four months after the paper began, as chief political correspondent. He became assistant managing editor in 1983, managing editor in 1985, and editor-in-chief in 1992. He retired in January 2008, and became editor-in-chief-emeritus. He still writes a twice-weekly column on politics and national affairs for The Times.
In 2003, the Southern Poverty Law Center accused Pruden of using The Washington Times to push "extremist, neo-Confederate ideas." The report from the SPLC said that Pruden was "fired in 1978 by the now-defunct National Observer, for which he had worked for fourteen years, under suspicion that he had 'manufactured' quotations in his stories."
Under Pruden's editorship, each Saturday The Washington Times ran a full page of stories on the American Civil War, the only daily newspaper in the United States to have done so at the time. Pruden called it "probably our single most popular feature", and noted that "There are more books published on the Civil War than on any other American topic." Pruden said that "the Civil War page has just as many stories about glorifying the Union as it does the Confederacy." Soon after Pruden retired as editor-in-chief, the Times announced that the Civil War page would be expanded to include coverage of all America's wars and would be renamed "America at War."
On November 17, 2009, Pruden published an opinion piece in the Washington Times titled "Obama bows, the nation cringes," where he set forth his thoughts on what he considered President Obama's breaches of etiquette on a tour of Asia, such as bowing to Emperor Akihito of Japan. In the article, he expressed the opinion that since President Obama was "sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World, and reared by grandparents in Hawaii," he "has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what [America] is about." A number of liberal commentators criticized the column as racist.
- "Wesley J. Pruden". usa-peoplesearch.com. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Beth Roy (1 October 1999). Bitters in the Honey: Tails of Hope, Dissapointment Across Divides of Race. University of Arkansas Press. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-1-55728-554-6. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Dr. Wesley Pruden will lead revival at local church", Minden, Louisiana, Herald, June 1, 1951, p. 1
- "James Wesley Pruden (1908–1979)" by Terry D. Goddard, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, accessed Jan. 1, 2012.
- Bill Clinton (22 June 2004). My Life. Random House Digital, Inc. pp. 917–918. ISBN 978-0-375-41457-2. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Faubus: The Life and Times of an American Prodigal, by Roy Reed, University of Arkansas Press, 1997, Page 225.
- Brian Lamb (1 October 2002). Booknotes: stories from American history. Penguin Books. p. 331. ISBN 978-0-14-200249-0. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- See Menckeniana. Spring 1992. No. 121.
- "The Washington Times Pushes Extremist, Neo-Confederate Ideas" by Heidi Beirich and Bob Moser, Intelligence Report, Summer 2003, Issue Number: 110, Southern Poverty Law Center.
- The Washington Times Pushes Extremist, Neo-Confederate Ideas" by Heidi Beirich and Bob Moser, Intelligence Report, Summer 2003, Issue Number: 110, Southern Poverty Law Center.
- "The Washington Times Pushes Extremist, Neo-Confederate Ideas" by Heidi Beirich and Bob Moser, Intelligence Report, Summer 2003, Issue Number: 110, Southern Poverty Law Center. Note: Other newspapers, particularly in the South, ran the weekly feature, "This Was the Civil War", between 1961 and 1965 to commemorate the centennial of the conflict.
- Announcement Washington Times, 2008-05-31
- Obama bows, the nation cringes Washington Times, 2009-11-17
- See e.g. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_11/021029.php
- Washington's Other Paper: Is the time right for the Times?, Allan Freedman, Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1995[dead link]
- Memo from Wes Pruden to Times staff, September 21, 2006, regarding the renewal of his contract