Author: Alexander S. Leidholdt

professor, James Madison University

Louis I. Jaffé (ca. 1888–1950)

Louis I. Jaffé was the longtime editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot (1919–1950) who earned renown for his sponsorship and promotion of Virginia’s antilynching law. A lifelong liberal and civil rights activist, Jaffé championed reforms that sought to improve the daily lives of African Americans, especially those in Hampton Roads. In 1929, he became Virginia’s first Pulitzer Prize winner, receiving the award for Distinguished Editorial Writing for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot‘s antilynching advocacy.


Lenoir Chambers (1891–1970)

Lenoir Chambers, newspaper editor and author, is best known for his opposition to the South’s Massive Resistance to racial integration of the public schools, a position he maintained from early in 1954 to 1959. During his life and his career, he sought to educate readers about perceived injustices toward African Americans and workers throughout the South, and urged fairer treatment of them. When Virginia’s political leaders closed the state’s public schools in 1958 to avoid federally mandated school integration, Chambers wrote a series of articles in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot that opposed the closings. His essays earned him a Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Editorial Writing in 1960.