Roger Wilkins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Roger Wilkins (born March 25, 1932) is an African-American civil rights leader, professor of history, and journalist.

Roger Wilkins speaking at a US Department of Justice meeting.


Wilkins was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in Michigan. He was educated at Crispus Attucks Elementary School[1] in Kansas City, Missouri, then Creston High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wilkins received a bachelor's degree in 1953, and a L.L.B. in 1956 from the University of Michigan, where he interned with the NAACP and was a member of the senior leadership society, Michigamua.[2]


Wilkins worked as a welfare lawyer in Ohio before becoming an Assistant Attorney General in President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration at age 33, one of the highest-ranking blacks ever to serve in the executive branch up to that time.

Roger Wilkins was sworn in as Director of Community Relations Service on Friday 4 February 1966 in a ceremony at The White House as per page 2 of President Johnson's Diary for that day.[3]

Leaving government in 1969 at the end of the Johnson administration, he worked briefly for the Ford Foundation before joining the editorial staff of the Washington Post.

Along with Carl Bernstein, Herbert Block ("Herblock"), and Bob Woodward, Wilkins earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for exposing the Watergate scandal that eventually forced President Richard Nixon's resignation from office. He left the Post in 1974 to work for the New York Times, followed five years later by a brief stay at the now-defunct Washington Star. In 1980 he became a radio news commentator, work he still does today for National Public Radio (NPR).

Wilkins was the Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia until his retirement in 2007. During his tenure at George Mason, Wilkins was, arguably, one of the most preeminent professors in residence at that time. Wilkins was also the publisher of the NAACP's journal, The Crisis, and is the nephew of Roy Wilkins, a past executive director of the NAACP.

Wilkins resides in Washington, D.C., and is married to Patricia King, Professor of Law at Georgetown University.



  1. ^
  2. ^ U-M took a risk; a stellar career took root
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]