Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Look Back: Harold Martin, Pulitzer Prize-winning alumnus

Photograph of Harold Martin, a Howard alum, former editor of the Crimson, and Pulitzer Prize winner, accepting an award from President Leslie Wright. 

Harold Martin (1923 – 2007) won the Pulitzer Prize in Local Investigative Specialized Reporting in 1970 and was a Howard College, now Samford University, alum. He graduated from Howard College in 1954. 

While serving as the editor of the morning Montgomery Advertiser and the afternoon Alabama Journal, Martin wrote a series of articles exposing a commercial scheme that used Alabama prisoners in state prisons for drug experimentation and to obtain blood plasma in conditions that were highly unethical. The Special Collection is honored to house his papers in SC 4513, the Harold Martin Collection. 

Harold Martin’s scrapbook in which he collected mementos from his Pulitzer Prize win in 1970. 

Though the collection is quite large and includes many fascinating items, a favorite is this scrap book in which he collected congratulations notices from all over the country including a telefax from Columbia University. 

A telefax congratulating Martin from Columbia University on his win. 

Martin was named Samford Alum of the Year in 1970, and an article about his work was included in the Samford Alumnus Magazine, volume 19, number 2. 

The 1970 issue of Samford Alumnus which features Harold Martin was alum of the year. 

An article in the Samford Alumnus talks about Martin’s work to expose the drug companies and their activities in state prisons. 

The Special Collection is very proud to house the Martin papers for their importance to the history of journalism in the state of Alabama. 

Thanks to Rachel Cohen of the Special Collection for photos and text.

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