As a columnist for the Washington Post for close to four decades, William Raspberry’s columns have been highly valued for his insights on public policy concerns related to education, crime, justice, drug abuse, and housing. He earned the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary in 1994. In 2004, he received the National Press Club’s highest honor, the Fourth Estate Award. He retired from the newspaper in 2005. Previously, Raspberry held the position of Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy Studies at Duke University. He also devotes considerable time to his pilot program, Baby Steps, a parent training and empowerment program in his hometown of Okolona, Mississippi. In 1991, he published Looking Backward at Us, a collection of his some of his favorite columns.
Raspberry retired from both his position at Duke University and writing his Washington Post column in 2008. He passed away in July of 2012 at the age of 76.