TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Brittany Sims on Jul 11, 2014

John Seigenthaler, legendary Tennessee journalist, political figure, intimate confidant to two near-presidents and fierce advocate for racial equality, died today at his home surrounded by family. He was 86. A Nashville native, Seigenthaler served as editor and publisher of the Tennessean for almost 30 years. Under his leadership, the newspaper covered historic events such as the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins and the early swearing-in of then Gov. Lamar Alexander. On the national scene, Seigenthaler served as an advisor to former Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and former Vice President Al Gore. He was active in the Freedom Rides movement and negotiated a deal with then-Alabama Gov. John Patterson that state troopers would protect students participating in the rides. A four-time published author, Seigenthaler also founded the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in 1991.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the John Seigenthaler Center on Vanderbilt University's campus. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Cathedral of the Incarnation on West End Ave. The Tennessean and News Channel 5 have profiles of his life.