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 2004, Pitts was awarded the 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.