Roger Wilkins was the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University. Dr. Wilkins had a distinguished career in journalism, including a position as a network radio commentator for National Public Radio. Dr. Wilkins is a former Associate Editor for the Washington Star, and served as a member of the Editorial Board and columnist for the New York Times. He has been a member of the editorial page staff of the Washington Post, during which time he shared a Pulitzer Prize for Watergate coverage with Woodward, Bernstein, and Herblock. He was a network radio commentator for CBS news and Mutual Broadcasting System. In addition, Dr. Wilkins was Assistant Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice, Assistant Director of the U.S. Community Relations Service, Department of Commerce, and Special Assistant to the Administrator Agency for International Development at the State Department. Dr. Wilkins earned a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1953 and 1956, respectively.
Dr. Wilkins was the former chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board, former Ford Foundation Program Officer in Charge of Social Development and Assistant to the President and former Senior Fellow for the Institute for Policy Studies. He also served as past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Africa-America Institute and is a member of the Board of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He was the publisher of the NAACP’s journal, Crisis, and served on the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia and on the District of Columbia Board of Education.
His writings include: Jefferson’s Pillow: A Black Patriot Confronts the Myths of the Founding Father (Beacon Press 2001), which won the 2002 NAIBA Book Award for Adult Non-Fiction,;his autobiography, A Man’s Life (Simon and Schuster Publishers 1982, 1991); and Quiet Riots, edited with Fred R. Harris (Pantheon 1988). He was a columnist for Mother Jones, published articles in two dozen magazines, and is the author of at least 60 book reviews and Op-Ed pieces for major American newspapers. He also wrote and narrated production broadcasts on PBS’ Frontline: “Keeping the Faith” and “Throwaway People.”