Reporter Nancy Hicks Maynard Was A "Fearless, Astute, Champion Of Diversity"

Illustration for article titled Reporter Nancy Hicks Maynard Was A Fearless, Astute, Champion Of Diversity

Nancy Hicks Maynard, the first black female reporter for the New York Times, died on Sunday at age 61. She and her late husband also owned the Oakland Tribune for nine years, making it still the only major daily paper to ever be black-owned. Former colleague Charlayne Hunter-Gault says, "when so many of us were preoccupied with doing stories about black people, [Maynard] paved the way in a new direction."Beginning when she was just 20, and the only black female news reporter in New York, Maynard covered such stories as the funeral of Robert Kennedy, the Apollo space missions, and the medical system in China. With husband Robert Maynard, she also founded the Maynard Institute, which trains minority reporters, editors, and newsroom managers. And she proposed that the American Society of Newspaper Editors strive for racial and ethnic parity in newsrooms by 2000. Sadly, that goal has now been extended to 2025. Maynard described her ownership of the Tribune as her greatest accomplishment. According to onetime managing editor Eric Newton, the paper had an "utter lack of a glass ceiling." "The higher up you went in the newsroom management," he says, "the more diverse it got." Maynard was also known at the paper as a stickler for accuracy, saying, "If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out." Says the Maynard Institute's former president, A. Steve Montiel, "She was a fearless, astute champion of diversity in news media. We've lost a leader who made a difference." Nancy Hicks Maynard Dies at 61; A Groundbreaking Black Journalist [NY Times] Diversity advocate Nancy Hicks Maynard dies at 61 [SF Chronicle] Nancy Maynard [Maynard Institute Official Site]


Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Sadly, I'd never even heard of her until today. Thanks, Jezebel, for documenting this. She sounds like one hell of a lady. (One hell of a human being, for that matter.)