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Moneta Sleet, Jr.
Moneta Sleet Jr.jpg
Born February 14, 1926
Died September 30, 1996 (aged 70)
Known for Photography

Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. (February 14, 1926 – September 30, 1996) won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s widow, Coretta Scott King, at Dr. King’s funeral. Sleet is the first African American man to win the Pulitzer, and the first African American to win award for journalism.[1][2] He died of cancer in 1996 at the age of 70.[3]


Early life and education

Sleet was born in Owensboro, Kentucky.[4] He was editor of the school newspaper at Western High School, his alma mater.[5] He graduated cum laude from Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University), a historically black college, in 1947 and went on to obtain a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.[4][4][6]

Ebony magazine

Sleet began working for Ebony magazine in 1955.[2] Over the next 41 years, he captured photos of young Muhammad Ali, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, and Billie Holiday. Besides his photo of Coretta Scott King, he also captured grieving widow Betty Shabazz at the funeral of Malcolm X.[1] His collection Special Moments in African American History: The photographs of Moneta Sleet, Jr. 1955-1996 was published posthumously in 1999.

Personal life

Moneta Sleet is the father of Gregory M. Sleet, a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Delaware

See also


  1. ^ a b Fraser, C. Gerald (1986-10-19). “The Vision of Moneta Sleet in Show”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  2. ^ a b “Moneta Sleet, photographer of excellence”. African American Registry. Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  3. ^ “Moneta Sleet Obituary”. Jet, reproduced by 1996-10-21. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  4. ^ a b c “Journalism Hall of Fame”. University of Kentucky. 2004-08-09. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  5. ^ “Late EBONY Photographer Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. Remembered With Historical Marker In Kentucky, His Home State”. Jet, reproduced by 2000-03-20. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  6. ^ “Notable KSU Alumni”. Kentucky State University. Retrieved 2006-12-22.[dead link]

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