Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may write to him via email at .
Leonard Pitts has been described as “the most insightful and inspiring columnist of his generation.” His twice-weekly columns reach millions of readers in newspapers across the country including the Observer and he is a novelist. His latest, Grant Park, deals with race and racism and reminds us that we haven’t come as far as we thought when it comes to racial equality. Leonard Pitts talks about that, writing and more.
Leonard Garvey Pitts, Jr., was born on October 11, 1957, in Orange, California. He and his three siblings grew up in the impoverished South Central section of Los Angeles, and his home life was far from ideal. His father drank heavily, let disputes escalate to gunfire, and was often unemployed. Yet Pitts remained philosophical about his upbringing, quoted as saying by reviewer Tim Engle in the that "I tend to think I was probably a lot luckier than some kids whose fathers weren't there." Pitts showed writing ability from the start. He whizzed through primary and secondary schools, skipping several grades, and entered the University of Southern California on a scholarship at age 15.