William Raspberry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post who taught journalism at Duke University for 13 years, died earlier this week. He was 76 years old and had suffered from prostate cancer.
Raspberry was a native of Jim Crow-era Mississippi. He went north to study at what is now the University of Indianapolis. He was hired by the Washington Post in 1962. By 1966 he was writing his own column on local issues. At the height on his career his syndicated op-ed column appeared in more than 200 newspapers nationwide.
From 1995 to 2008, he served as the Knight Professor of the Practice of Communications and Journalism at Duke. He commuted from Washington to Durham each week when classes were in session.