John Seigenthaler to deliver LBJ Lecture at Texas State

Date released: 04/15/04

SAN MARCOS – John Seigenthaler, journalist, activist and founder of the First Amendment Center will deliver a free public lecture at Texas State University-San Marcos April 27.

Seigenthaler will present “Reflections of a Son of the Racist South” for the Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture Series at 6:30 p.m. in the Alkek Library Teaching Theater on the Texas State campus.

Seigenthaler founded the First Amendment Center in 1991 with the mission of creating national discussion, dialogue and debate about First Amendment rights and values. The center works nationwide to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms through information and education. With offices at Vanderbilt and Arlington, Va., the center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, the right to assemble and petition the government. Seigenthaler also serves as senior advisory trustee of the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people based in Arlington, Va.

A former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Seigenthaler served for 43 years as an award-winning journalist for The Tennessean, Nashville’s morning newspaper. In 1982, Seigenthaler became founding editorial director of USA TODAY and served in that position for a decade, retiring from both the Nashville and national newspapers in 1991.

In the early 1960s, Seigenthaler served in the U.S. Justice Department as administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, where he worked as chief negotiator with the governor of Alabama during the Freedom Rides civil rights crisis and suffered an attack by a mob of Klansmen in Montgomery, Ala.

Seigenthaler hosts a weekly book-review program, “A Word On Words.” He chairs the annual “Profile in Courage Award” selection committee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and co-chairs the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for the RFK Memorial. Seigenthaler served on the 18-member National Commission on Federal Election Reform organized in 2001 by former Presidents Carter and Ford and is a member of the Constitution Project on Liberty and Security, created after the Sept. 11 tragedies in New York and Washington.

About the LBJ Lecture

The annual Lyndon Baines Johnson Lecture, initiated in 1982 to honor the former president and Texas State graduate, recognizes the importance of education to the continuing prosperity of the nation. Through the series, Texas State works to perpetuate the former president’s high educational ideals by bringing outstanding individuals to campus to meet with students and faculty and present public lectures. Previous lecterns include former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and Former President Gerald Ford.