Claude Fox Sitton, who reported on the Civil Rights movement for the New York Times and won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary as editor of the News & Observer, died in Atlanta on March 10, 2015. He was 89.
Mr. Sitton crisscrossed the South for the Times (1958-64) and served as Times national news editor (1964-68). He became editorial director of the News & Observer and Raleigh Times in 1968 and then served as editor of the News & Observer and vice president of the News & Observer Publishing Co. (1970-1990).
Mr. Sitton won the Pulitzer for commentary (1983), George Polk career award (1991) and John Chancellor Award for excellence in journalism (2000). He taught at Emory University (1991-1994). He was inducted into the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame (2014).
Mr. Sitton was born in Atlanta on Dec. 4, 1925, to Claude and Pauline Sitton. He graduated high school in 1943 and joined the U.S. Merchant Marine. He later enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He earned a B.A. from Emory in 1949 and worked for the International News Service and United Press. He also was a press attaché for the U.S. Information Agency in Ghana.
Survivors include his wife, Eva Whetstone Sitton, whom he married in 1953, and four children: Lauren Lea Stanley, Clinton Whetstone Sitton, Suzanna Sitton Greene and Claude McLaurin Sitton.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Oxford College Scholarship Fund, at the Oxford College Development Office, 711 Emory St., Oxford, Ga. 30054; the Salvation Army, at Salvation Army National Headquarters, P.O. Box 269, Alexandria, Va. 22314; the Nature Conservancy, Attn. Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Ste. 100, Arlington, Va. 22203-1606; or a charity of one’s choice. The service was private.