"William Raspberry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post whose fiercely independent views illuminated conflicts concerning education, poverty, crime and race, and who was one of the first black journalists to gain a wide following in the mainstream press, died July 17 at his home in Washington. He was 76.
His writings were often provocative but seldom predictable. Although he considered himself a liberal, Mr. Raspberry often bucked many of the prevailing pieties of liberal orthodoxy. He favored integration but opposed busing children to achieve racial balance. He supported gun control but — during a time when the District seemed to be a free-fire zone for drug sellers — he could understand the impulse to shoot back.
He was viewed as a truth-teller,” lawyer, civil rights advocate and political adviser Vernon E. Jordan Jr. said in an interview. “I am sure that I disagreed with him on a number of things. He had a way of telling you to go to hell and making you look forward to the trip.”
—, The Washington Post