Stephen Henderson (journalist)

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Stephen Henderson
Stephen Henderson 2015.jpg
Henderson in 2015
Born1970 (age 49–50)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Years active1991–present

Stephen Henderson (born November 23, 1970) is an American journalist. Henderson won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and the 2014 National Association of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year Award while writing for the Detroit Free Press.

Following allegations of his inappropriate sexual behavior, Henderson was terminated by the Detroit Free Press in December 2017.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Henderson graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1988 and the University of Michigan in 1992.[3]


Henderson has worked for the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune, the Lexington Herald-Leader, and Knight Ridder as a reporter, editorial writer and editor.[4] He was the Editorial Page Editor and a columnist for the Detroit Free Press from 2009 to 2017.[4]

Henderson has hosted the daily talk show "Detroit Today" on WDET since 2015, and he hosts the weekly talk show "American Black Journal" on Detroit Public Television and co-hosts the news show "MiWeek" on Detroit Public Television.[3][5] In 2014 he won both the Pulitzer Prize for commentary and the National Association of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year Award for his writing on Detroit's financial crisis.[3][6] He is also a two-time winner of the Scripps Howard Award for Commentary.

In 2016, Henderson wrote that Michiganders should take legislators who took money to shield Michigan's charter schools from oversight, "sew them into burlap sacks with rabid animals, and toss them into the Straits of Mackinac",.[7] He then tweeted the column with another call for violence against legislators: "GOP House harlots deserve worse than hanging for selling out #detroit kids on #DPS bills."[8] After a backlash from conservatives, he tweeted that his remark was "hyperbole." "Everyone knows I don't have access to that much burlap," he said.[9]

On December 6, 2017, Rev. W.J. Rideout III, pastor of Our God’s People Church in Detroit, held a press conference to accuse the Detroit news media of covering up sexual harassment cases, including accusations of Henderson sexually harassing female coworkers.[10] Rideout, who hosted a talk show on Detroit's 910 AM, was then suspended by radio station management because he did not identify the alleged victims. [11] In response to Rideout's press conference, the Free Press conducted an internal investigation into the allegations.[12] After the internal review, Henderson was fired from the Detroit Free Press for "inappropriate behavior" towards female employees that had occurred over several years.[4][13] In response to his firing, Henderson said on his own radio show that he apologized to the women involved and said it was "bad judgement" on his part, but he also said that he disagreed with the decision by the Free Press and would be "exploring legal action."[12] Henderson's attorney has said there was no lawsuit and that a settlement was reached in July 2018 between her client Henderson and his former employers at the Detroit Free Press.[14]


Henderson lives in Detroit with his two children. [15]



  1. ^ Stephen Henderson (August 3, 2014). "Stephen Henderson: Detroit's resilience must be seen to be believed". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  2. ^ "Free Press' Stephen Henderson terminated for misconduct". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  3. ^ a b c d JC Reindl (April 14, 2014). "Free Press' Stephen Henderson wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  4. ^ a b c "Stephen Henderson fired by Detroit Free Press over 'inappropriate behavior'". Crain's Detroit Business. 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  5. ^ a b Bill Shea (March 3, 2015). "WDET hires Free Press Pulitzer winner Stephen Henderson as 'Detroit Today' host". Crain's. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  6. ^ a b Aprill Turner (May 1, 2014). "Stephen Henderson Named NABJ 2014 Journalist of the Year". National Association of Black Journalists. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  7. ^ Stephen Henderson (June 4, 2016). "Michigan House's Detroit schools bills are pure garbage, not about kids". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  8. ^ Mollie Hemingway (June 7, 2016). "Detroit Free Press Editor Calls For Murder Of GOP Lawmakers". The Federalist. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  9. ^ "Freep's Henderson Takes Humorous Shot at GOP Lawmaker Demanding Apology". Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  10. ^ "WXYZ Anchor Malcom Maddox Accused Of Sexual Harassment". 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  11. ^ Henderson, Stephen. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ a b Charles E. Ramirez (December 18, 2017). "Fired Freep editor: 'It was bad judgment'". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  13. ^ "Free Press' Stephen Henderson terminated for misconduct". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  14. ^ Henderson, Stephen. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Henderson to speak about Detroit and life after bankruptcy, Feb. 17 at Eastern Michigan University". February 13, 2015. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  16. ^ Detroit Free Press Staff (March 18, 2015). "Free Press' Henderson wins Scripps Howard commentary award". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  17. ^ "Scripps Howard Award for Commentary".

External links[edit]