Eugene Patterson, formerly a Duke professor and member of the Board of Trustees, died Saturday.
Patterson was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, serving as editor of The Atlanta Constitution during the civil rights movement and later as editor of The St. Petersburg Times and managing editor of The Washington Post. He died of complications from cancer, which he had been battling since February 2012.
Patterson taught at Duke in 1971 and then served on the Board from 1988 to 1994. An endowed chair in the Sanford School for Public Policy is named after Patterson. Phil Bennett, professor of the practice of journalism and public policy, currently fills the spot. Bennett is a member of the board of directors for the Duke Student Publishing Company, which publishes The Chronicle.
The winner of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, Patterson was well regarded among journalists for his integrity as a reporter during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.
Before his journalism career and his time at Duke, Patterson served as a tank platoon commander in Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. After World War II, Patterson became a pilot in the Army before ending his military service in pursuit of his journalism career, which lasted 41 years.
The University flew its flags at half-staff Monday in honor of Patterson, who was 89.