Charlayne Hunter-Gault, American Journalist

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

American Journalist

Charlayne Hunter-Gault is an award-winning journalist with more than 50 years in the industry, extending her work  at various times to all media including The New Yorker, NBC, The New York Times, PBS, NPR, and CNN.  

She is the author of four books—the latest an e-book, called Corrective Rape, which details  the devastating way some men in South Africa attempt to “correct” gay women’s sexual identity; To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement, is  a historical narrative for young readers grade nine and up, published by The New York Times and Roaring Brook Press. Her other two books are New News Out of Africa: Uncovering the African Renaissance (Oxford University Press) and In My Place, a memoir of the Civil Rights Movement, fashioned around her experiences as the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia, in 1961,  now a Vintage Press paperback. 

She is currently working on her fifth book, My People, a compilation of selected print pieces dating back to 1961, to be published by Harper Collins later this year. 

In 2005, she returned to NPR as a Special Correspondent after six years as CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent.  She joined CNN in April 1999 from National Public Radio, where she worked as the network’s chief correspondent in Africa and was awarded a Peabody in 1998 for her coverage of the continent. 

Hunter-Gault worked for 20 years with the PBS NewsHour, alternately as substitute anchor and national, as well as international  correspondent. And she has now returned to the NewsHour as Special Correspondent, doing an unprecedented year long series called Race Matters , focusing  on solutions to American’s enduring race problem.

 She began her journalism career as a reporter for The New Yorker, to which she still contributes; she then worked as a local news anchor for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.; later as the Harlem bureau chief for The New York Times. Her numerous honors include a New York Times Publisher’s award for a story she worked on detailing the life of the youngest victim of a heroin overdose in 1970. Hunter-Gault also has won two Emmy awards and two Peabody awards—the first for her work on Apartheid’s People, a NewsHour series about South African life during apartheid; the second for her work in Africa for NPR, in which, according to the Peabody   citation,  she “demonstrated a talent for ennobling her subjects, and revealed a depth of understanding of the African experience that was unrivaled in Western media.” Over the years, Hunter-Gault has been the recipient of numerous other awards for her work and in August 2005, she was inducted in the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In 2014, she received Black Enterprises Legacy Award. In 2015 , she was honored with the Washington Press Club Foundation’s LifeTime Achievement Award and that same year was also inducted into the Atlanta Press Club’s Hall of Fame.  

Hunter-Gault is a sought after public speaker and  holds more than three dozen  honorary degrees .  She is married to retired  businessman Ronald T. Gault, and she has two adult children, Suesan, a artist and singer, and Chuma, an actor and director.

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