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Lance Morrow (born September 21, 1939, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American essayist and writer, chiefly for Time Magazine, as well as the author of several books. He won the 1981 National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism and was a finalist for the same award in 1991. He has the distinction of writing more "Man of the Year" articles than any other writer in the magazine's history and has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and The O'Reilly Factor. He is a former professor of journalism and University Professor at Boston University.
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Morrow joined Time in 1965 after a brief stint with the old Washington Star. As a reporter, he covered the 1967 Detroit race riots, the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration and the Watergate scandal. He also has penned several of Time's "Man of the Year" articles. In 1976, Morrow became a regular writer of Time's backpage essay. He won the National Magazine Award for his essays in Time in 1981, was a finalist for the award in 1991 (for an essay cover on the subject of evil), and was among the Time writers who won the award in 2001, for their coverage of September 11 (in a special issue that closed on the afternoon of the September 11 attacks. Morrow contributed the essay for that issue). In his award winning September 11 essay, "The Case for Rage and Retribution" he wrote:
"A day cannot live in infamy without the nourishment of rage. Let's have rage... Let America explore the rich reciprocal possibilities of the fatwa. A policy of focused brutality does not come easily to a self-conscious, self-indulgent, contradictory, diverse, humane nation with a short attention span. America needs to relearn a lost discipline, self-confident relentlessness and to relearn why human nature has equipped us all with a weapon (abhorred in decent peacetime societies) called hatred... This is the moment of clarity. Let the civilized toughen up, and let the uncivilized take their chances in the game they started."
Morrow was a University Professor at Boston University from 1996 to 2006, when he was asked to write the authorized biography of Henry Luce, the founder of Time magazine.
Lance Morrow was born on September 21, 1939, and was raised in Washington D.C., where he attended Gonzaga College High School. His father, Hugh Morrow, was for many years a chief aide to New York Governor and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Morrow graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1963 with a BA in English literature.
He lives in Chatham, New York, with his wife Susan Brind Morrow, who is also an author. He has two sons, Justin, a writer and filmmaker, and James, a political consultant and journalist in Sydney, Australia. Lance Morrow’s cousin is the science fiction writer James K. Morrow.
Lance Morrow published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, [attempting to explain why it was dangerous for the United States to discuss reparations for slaveryMorrow, Lance. "The danger of debating reparations for slavery".). Most of his bullet points match the points made by David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK, during his presidential run. News sources for the discussed demographic, such as The Root, Harriot, Michael. "Pardon me while I clap back at the Wall Street Journal's bullshit"..
Lance Morrow replies to this criticism: "It is false to imply that my opinions--- on the subject of race or anything else--- are similar, in any way, to those of David Duke. It is a vicious lie that is contradicted by almost 60 years of my published work.
"I have written about race in America---among other things--- since the early 1960s. I started writing for the Washington Star in the early years of Lyndon Johnson’s administration. I marched with civil rights demonstrators down Sixteenth Street to the White House, as they sang “We Shall Overcome” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round.” I wrote about the public schools of Prince Edward County, Virginia, which were closed for years so that whites there might avoid integration. I talked far into the night with civil rights workers in Sunflower County, Mississippi, during the COFO summer of 1964. My point of view has always been entirely sympathetic to the situation of black Americans--- and directly opposite to that of David Duke and his fellow racists.
"I covered Martin Luther King Jr. when I was young, as early as 1959, working a summer job for the Buffalo Evening News. My father knew King, and worked with him for a time. We loaned King our family station wagon when he visited New York. I talked to Dr. King on several occasions. I revered him, and still do. Read the article that I wrote last year about Dr. King and the events of 1968 and the death of my best friend, who was black: “A Gift of Grace to the United States,” published in City Journal on April 2, 2018. Here’s the link:
https://eppc.org/publications/a-gift-of-grace-to-the-united-states/ The “gift of grace” referred to in the headline was Martin Luther King Jr.
"Hundreds of my news articles and essays, for TIME and other publications, are available via Google. You can order my books on Amazon.
"On February 8, 2000, I wrote an essay for TIME.com entitled: “It’s Time to Talk about Reparations for Slavery.” I wrote, among other things: “Discussing the case for reparations seriously would be a healthy thing. It would clarify the American mind, and that itself might be a healthy exorcism. Slavery and its long aftermath were a very terrible crime.” But recently I wrote in the Wall Street Journal that in the current political climate, reparations legislation could not pass Congress, or be signed by the President, and that therefore the debate at this time would only deepen the divisions in the country. My “bullet points” were not David Duke’s. Rather, they stated the same self-evident, non-controversial points made by practically everyone---whether left, right or center, white or black or something else--- who discusses reparations. The “bullet points” are so obvious that they hardly bear discussion. If David Duke said the sun will come up tomorrow, and I said the sun will come up tomorrow, would you claim that David Duke and I “made the same bullet points?”
"The implication that David Duke and I are of the same mind---on anything--- is totally inaccurate. It amounts to character assassination. It is an insult to my lifetime of writing. I will not stand for being so viciously--- and ignorantly--- falsified."
- PBS Here & Now 9/17/2003 episode (audio) discusses Morrow's book Evil: An Investigation: https://web.archive.org/web/20061003003046/http://www.here-now.org/shows/2003/09/20030917_5.asp
- Appearances on C-SPAN