John L. Dotson, who was the president and publisher of the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal, died late last month at his home in Boulder, Colorado, after a battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.
Dotson was a native of Paterson, New Jersey, and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. He worked as a newspaper reporter for the Detroit Free Press and the Newark Evening News, before joining the staff at Newsweek magazine. In 1983, Dotson became the publisher of the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, and in 1992 because publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal. In 1994 the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for its five-part series entitled “A Question of Color.” He retired as publisher of the newspaper in 2001.
In 1977, Dotson was one of nine journalists who founded what is now the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in Oakland, California. Among its programs is the Maynard Media Academy which is an intensive immersion program in entrepreneurial leadership and management that is operated in conjunction with the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University.