Civil Rights icon and journalist Roger Wilkins dies at 85

(PPN) – Roger Wilkins, a historian, journalist and activist who held a key civil rights post in President Johnson’s administration and helped the Washington Post win a Pulitzer for its Watergate coverage, died Sunday, relatives said. He was 85.

Wilkins, most recently a history professor at George Mason University, died at an assisted-living facility in Kensington, Md., his wife, Patricia King, and his daughter Elizabeth Wilkins said. The cause was complications from dementia, they said.

Wilkins was born in 1932 in Kansas City, Mo., where he was forced to attend segregated schools. His father was a journalist and his mother was national leader in the YWCA.

From the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, he worked for the Johnson administration, the Ford Foundation, the Washington Post and the New York Times. In his 1982 autobiography, “A Man’s Life,” he described the frustrations of being “the lead black in white institutions for 16 years.”

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