Brent Staples, winner of a 2019 Pulitzer Prize, had a challenging path from growing up in Chester to earning journalism’s biggest prize, writes Valerie Russ for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Staples, an editorial writer at The New York Times, is the second oldest out of nine siblings from a working-class family. He has written numerous times about his childhood, including moving seven times before eighth grade.
He refers to his path to college as miraculous. He got his chance thanks to the only black professor at what is today Widener University who sought out kids like him with middling grades and no college boards.
The 67-year-old writer has received the Pulitzer for his series of essays on race and social justice in America. He dedicated the award to his great-great-grandmother Somerville Staples, a former slave who eventually bought land in her own name.
“The Staples family are storytellers all the way back,” said Staples. “My father and his brothers all drove for the same trucking company in Chester. When they got together on weekends, the room was awash in stories.”
Read more about Brent Staples in The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.