Leonard Pitts Jr. is an American commentator, journalist and novelist. He is a nationally-syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He was originally hired by the Miami Herald to critique music, but within a few years he received his own column in which he dealt extensively with race, politics, and culture. He lives in Bowie, Maryland. He has won awards for his writing from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and was first nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993, eventually claiming the honor in 2004.
Pitts is a bestselling author. His first book, Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood was published in 2006. Pittsâ€™s first novel, Before I Forget was released in March 2009, and earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The novel centers on a faded soul singer whose early-onset Alzheimerâ€™s compels him to reconnect with his father and son. Pittsâ€™s third book, Forward from This Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2008 was published in August 2009. It is a selection of Pittsâ€™s columns from the Miami Herald.
Pitts gained national recognition for his widely circulated column of September 12, 2001, "From here we'll go forward" in which he described the toughness of the American spirit in the face of the September 11 attacks.