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When talking about Pikeville, it is only right to mention one of our own who has made a large impact on the country. Gene Roberts was born in Pikeville in June of 1932. Working his way up from selling his father's newspapers, Gene made a name for himself before moving to Virginia, back to Raleigh, and landed a job in Detroit before he was made chief Southern correspondent of the New York Times. He worked at the Times for seven years before he was named national editor of the New York Times. He was then offered the position of executive editor, at what was then regarded as one of the worst newspapers in America, the Philadelphia Inquirer. He took the job and over the following 18 years the Philadelphia Inquirer won seventeen Pulitzer prizes.
Mr. Roberts left the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1990 due to a disagreement with the company that owned the newspaper. They wanted him to reduce expenses and Mr. Roberts felt like he couldn't undo what he had done to make the paper a success story. After he left the paper, Mr. Roberts began teaching journalism at the University of Maryland. From 1994-1997, he served a short term as managing editor at the New York Times. Other than those three years, he has been teaching his craft to young professionals.
Mr. Roberts has also won a Pulitzer prize for his book, The Race Beat (2007), co-written with Hank Klibanoff.
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