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Emory gets papers of civil rights hero, editor, Gene Patterson


The papers of the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution have been acquired by Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library.

Patterson, who died in 2013, was a journalist, editor of The Atlanta Constitution and The Washington Post, and a significant voice for civil rights in the 1960s.

Patterson’s papers include correspondence, photographs, subject files, and six large scrapbooks filled with his daily columns.

As editor of The Atlanta Constitution, Patterson received widespread national attention for his column “A Flower for the Graves,” about the Birmingham church bombing that killed four young girls on Sept. 15, 1963. The column, published the next day, was so moving that Patterson was invited to read it aloud that night on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the year Patterson was writing the columns that won him the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for editorial columns.


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