Home / Top Story / Civil rights journalist Simeon Booker dead at 99

Civil rights journalist Simeon Booker dead at 99

Journalist Simeon Booker, who chronicled African-American life in the pages of Ebony and Jet magazines, including the eye-opening Mississippi lynching of Chicago boy Emmett Till, died Sunday.

He was 99, and died at an assisted-living community in Maryland, his family said.

Lauded as the dean of black journalists, Booker was the first full-time black reporter for The Washington Post, before joining Jet, a weekly, and its sister publication Ebony, a monthly, as the company’s Washington bureau chief in 1954.

Booker covered nearly every important development of the civil rights movement.

Emmett Till’s cousin, witness to his abduction, dies of cancer

But no story Booker wrote about had more impact than the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Till, who was lynched in Money, Miss., by men who said he whistled at a white woman. Pictures of Till’s body, and Booker’s emotional connection with Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, helped the story resonate across the globe.

“Her face wet with tears, she leaned over the body, just removed from a rubber bag in a Chicago funeral home, and cried out, ‘Darling, you have not died in vain. Your life has been sacrificed for something,’ ” Booker wrote.

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