Louis Isaac Jaffe

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Louis Isaac Jaffe (1888–1950) was editorial page editor of the newspaper Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia from 1919 to 1950.[1] He won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 1929 for An Unspeakable Act of Savagery, which condemned lynching.[2][3]


Jaffe spent his early life in Durham, North Carolina where his parents, Lithuanian immigrants, were shopkeepers. He attended Durham High School and Trinity College, the forerunner of Duke University. After U.S. Army service in World War I, he headed the Red Cross News Service, headquartered in Paris, and toured the Balkans reporting on postwar devastation.

He returned to the United States in 1920 to accept an offer to become editor of the Virginian-Pilot and held this post for thirty years until his death. He was a progressive force in state and local politics and won national recognition for his campaign against lynching.

A biography was published in 2002.[4]


  1. ^ "Hebrew Cemetery, Durham, North Carolina". 
  2. ^ Wolfe, Brendan (May 12, 2011). "This Day (Unspeakable Acts Edition)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes: 1929 Winners". Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Leidholdt, Alexander S. (June 2002). Editor for Justice: The Life of Louis I. Jaffe. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 978-0807127513.