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Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Leonard Garvey Pitts Jr.  is an American commentator, journalist and novelist. He is a nationally syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He was originally hired by the Miami Herald to critique music, but within a few years he received his own column in which he has dealt extensively with race, politics, and culture from a progressive perspective.

Raised in Los Angeles and educated at the University of Southern California, Pitts currently lives in Bowie, Maryland. He has won awards for his writing from the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and the National Association of Black Journalists, and he was first nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993, eventually claiming the honor in 2004.

Pitts is a bestselling author. His first book, Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, was published in 2006. His first novel, Before I Forget, was released in March 2009, and earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The novel centers on a faded soul singer whose early-onset Alzheimer's disease compels him to reconnect with his father and son. Pitts's third book, Forward from This Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2008, was published in August 2009. It is a selection of his columns from the Miami Herald.

Pitts gained national recognition for his widely circulated column of September 12, 2001, "We'll go forward from this moment" in which he described the toughness of the American spirit in the face of the September 11 attacks.