John Dotson, longtime journalist, editor, publisher, dies at age 76

  • Updated: June 23, 2013 - 12:55 AM

BOULDER, Colo. — John L. Dotson Jr., a longtime journalist, editor and newspaper publisher who championed diversity in the newsroom, has died at age 76.

Dotson's family confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that he died Friday in Boulder, Colo., of mantle cell lymphoma. During his long career, Dotson served as an editor at Newsweek and the publisher of two newspapers, including The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal when it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

Dotson was an early advocate for minorities and women journalists, joining others in establishing the Institute for Journalism Education in 1977, now the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. The organization pushed for diversity in newsrooms throughout the country.

Born in Paterson, N.J., Dotson graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia. He worked as a reporter for the Evening News in Newark, N.J., and the Detroit Free Press, then joined Newsweek in Detroit in 1965. He moved to Los Angeles three years later to become the magazine's deputy bureau chief, and advanced to the position of bureau chief before moving to the magazine's New York headquarters to be a senior editor.

Dotson joined Knight-Ridder newspapers in 1983 and served as publisher and president of The Daily Camera in Boulder starting in 1987 and then The Beacon Journal from 1992 until his retirement in 2001. The Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service for its yearlong examination of race relations in the city.

Besides Boulder, Dotson had a home in Marco Island, Fla.

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