University of Arizona Campus  •  March 2 - 3, 2019  •  9:30am to 5:30pm
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Leonard Pitts

Leonard Pitts, Jr. was born and raised in Southern California and now lives in suburban Washington, DC, with his wife and children. He is a columnist for the Miami Herald and won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, in addition to many other awards. He is also the author of the novels "The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II," "Before I Forget," "Freeman" and "Grant Park," and his non-fiction books are "Forward From This Moment," and "Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood."

In a career spanning 41 years, Leonard Pitts, Jr. has been a columnist, a college professor, a radio producer and a lecturer. But if you ask him to define himself, he will invariably choose one word. WRITER.

In additiona to Pitts' 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, he was also a finalist for the Pulitzer in 1992. In 1997, Pitts took first place for commentary in division four (newspapers with a circulation of over 300,000) in the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors' Ninth Annual Writing Awards competition. His columns on the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman have garnered much attention from his peers and readers alike.

Pitts' column, We'll Go Forward From This Moment, an angry and defiant open letter to the terrorists, circulated the globe via the Internet. It generated upwards of 30,000 emails, and has since been set to music, reprinted in poster form, read on television by Regis Philbin and quoted by Congressman Richard Gephardt as part of the Democratic Party's weekly radio address. He is a three-time recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Award of Excellence, a five-time recipient of the Atlantic City Press Club’s National Headliners Award and a seven-time recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award.

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Scheduled events:
Democracy and a Free Press
Steven Levitsky, David McCraw and Leonard Pitts — well-known authors with different resumes and unique perspectives — will explore the role of a free press in maintaining a healthy and vibrant democracy.

UA Mall Tent (Seats 250)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 2, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Current Issues / Politics / Social Science
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - Central Mall (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Steven Levitsky, David McCraw, Leonard Pitts
Moderator: David Kaplan
Heroes Are Made, Not Born
Leonard Pitts' new novel — "The Last Thing You Surrender" — is a war story, but it is hardly a period piece. Not unless the "period" is today-and-everyday America. Pitts will discuss the racial and cultural things that divide us and his hope there are deeper things that will someday unite us.

Arizona Daily Star Tent (Seats 250)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 3, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - Arizona Daily Star Store (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelist: Leonard Pitts
Moderator: Sarah Gassen

The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II
Fiction / Literature
Agate Bolden
February 2019
ISBN 9781572842458
464 pages
$17.00, INSTORE
Buy now

The latest novel by bestselling author Leonard Pitts, Jr. Set during World War II and centered on two families--one white, one black--this is a page-turning American epic of race and war.

Fiction / Literature
Agate Bolden
May 2012
ISBN 9781932841640
Paperback, 404 pages
$16.00, INSTORE
Buy now

"At the end of the Civil War, an escaped slave first returns to his old plantation and then walks across the ravaged South in search of his lost wife"--Provided by the publisher.

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friends of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
University of Arizona - Facilities Management
Western National Parks Association
William & Mary Ross Foundation

Key Sponsors

Arizona Office Technologies
Arizona Wholesale Supply
Marshall Foundation

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