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.

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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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