Ira Harkey, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, dead at age 88
PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI (AP) - Retired Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ira B. Harkey Jr., has died. Harkey's eldest son, Ira the third, said his father died of complications from Parkinson's disease at Parsons House in Kerrville, Texas, where he'd lived for the past two years. He was 88.
Harkey was awarded the 1963 Pulitzer for editorial writing while editor and publisher of The Chronicle Star in Pascagoula, Mississippi. His 1962 editorials called for the peace and order during the integration of the University of Mississippi with the enrollment of a black student, James Meredith.
Harkey was vilified for those editorials, his life threatened, and the newspaper and its advertisers boycotted. A cross was burned in front of the newspaper office, a rifle was fired into the front door, and a shotgun blast took out his office window before the FBI was called.
Harkey detailed the events in his autobiography, "The Smell of Burning Crosses," in 1967.
Funeral will be Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Kerrville and Friday in New Orleans.