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Roger Wilkins, Champion of Civil Rights, Dies at 85

Roger Wilkins, who championed civil rights for black Americans for five decades as an official in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, a foundation executive, a journalist, an author and a university professor, died on Sunday in Kensington, Md. He was 85.

His daughter Elizabeth confirmed his death, at a care facility. The cause was complications of dementia.

A black lawyer in the corridors of power, Mr. Wilkins was an assistant United States attorney general, ran domestic programs for the Ford Foundation, wrote editorials for The Washington Post and The New York Times, taught history at George Mason University for nearly 20 years and was close to leading lights of literature, music, politics, journalism and civil rights. Roy Wilkins, who led the N.A.A.C.P. from 1955 to 1977, was his uncle.

Roger Wilkins’s early mentor was Thurgood Marshall, the renowned civil rights lawyer who became the Supreme Court’s first black associate justice. And he organized Nelson Mandela’s triumphant eight-city visit to the United States in 1990 as millions turned out to see that living symbol of resistance to apartheid after his release from 27 years in prison in South Africa.

Kathleen "Kate" Sylvester, Award-Winning Journalist, August 9, `1950 - February 24, 2017

Died on Friday February 24, 2017 in Washington DC. She was born on November 26, 1949 in Syracuse, NY to Lt. J. Martin Nelson (KIA Korea August 9, 1950) and Virginia Doyle Nelson. She was raised by her mother and adoptive father, Lt. Col. Allan T. Sylvester, II in a military family all over the United States. She attended Georgetown University where she received a Bachelor degree in Foreign Service. She was an award winning journalist for 20 years, after which she began work in Public Policy, working at the Progressive Policy Institute, First Focus and the America's Promise Alliance and was the founder of the Social Policy Action Network (SPAN). She also founded the consulting firm Writewell. In addition to her work, she was an unflagging supporter of her Capitol Hill neighborhood and a devoted friend to many.


Jerry Lipson, reporter and Capitol Hill aide, dies at 81

Jerry Lipson, a former reporter who worked for a decade and a half as an aide to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, died Feb. 28 at a skilled nursing facility in Springfield, Va. He was 81.

The cause was complications from cancer, said his son, Jonathan C. Lipson.

Gerald Lipson was born in Chicago on Aug. 27, 1935. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1957 and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1961.

In the 1960s, Mr. Lipson reported for publications including the Wilmington News Journal in Delaware, the old Washington Star and the old Chicago Daily News, where he covered the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the legal case of James Earl Ray, who assassinated civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

George Murmann, Star Lithographer, November 21, 1918 - February 11, 2017

George Henry Murrmann passed away Saturday (Feb. 11, 2017) at his home surrounded by his loving daughters. He left the building in grand style with his loved ones singing karaoke of his favorite tunes until the end.

George Henry Murrmann was born in Perrysville, Ind., on Nov. 21, 1918, in an original Sears catalog house on the family farm. His family had moved there to farm (built the Sears model house on their own) on "Murrmann" lane, as it was known. As the youngest of 12 children, his father, George J. proclaimed, "Now I've got my dozen!"

George graduated from Danville High School in 1937 as a decorated member of the swim team. He joined the Air Corps (later known as the Air Force) in 1942 for "four years, eight months and 22 days." While in the corps, he was an instructor responsible for instrument training on airplanes.

After his service, he moved to Minneapolis to attend trade school to become a lithographer. (Linotype was once the only way type was set through a detailed process operating a large machine requiring dexterity and mechanical expertise.) After graduating, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Gannett at the Washington Star newspaper.

Marty Hurney - Meet The Journalist Who Drafted 8 Panthers Pro Bowlers

If the Panthers win it all this season, he won't receive a Super Bowl ring. But he played a major role in assembling the team with the best regular season record in 2015, acquiring eight of the 10 Pro Bowlers on the roster, including likely MVP Cam Newton, and hiring Ron Rivera, the likely Coach of the Year.

Reached by phone, former Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined to comment on his role in constructing the 15-1 Panthers, modestly saying all credit should go to current Carolina GM Dave Gettleman.

"That's the kind of guy Marty is," said former general manager Bobby Beathard, who guided the Redskins to three Super Bowls.

A journalist by trade, Hurney worked for the Montgomery Journal in Silver Spring, Md. In 1978 he moved to The Washington Star. After covering the Redskins for The Washington Times, the former college football player at Catholic University in Washington D.C. began the unusual career jump from sports writer to NFL general manager. That path was more common in the early 20th century but is nearly unheard of in modern-day sports.

Hurney, though, impressed Beathard as a reporter. While other writers focused on churning out copy to meet deadline, he had an intellectual curiosity and took time to delve into deeper topics. He became particularly intrigued with scouting and the draft, how they picked players and -- especially -- the financial ramifications of those moves.

"He was always more interested than everyone else," Beathard said. "His interest went beyond getting the story, and we became pretty good friends."

Hurney started working for the Redskins’ public relations department, and then in 1990, Beathard brought him to San Diego where Hurney negotiated player contracts and served as a capologist.

Attribution: Jeff Fedotin,

Full Story: Journalist General Manager