Roy Reed, Times reporter who covered civil rights, dies

Roy Reed, Times reporter who covered civil rights, dies

December 11th, 2017 by Associated Press in Breaking News

In this March 21, 1965, photo, Martin Luther King Jr. and his civil rights marchers cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., heading for Montgomery, during a five-day, 50-mile walk to protest voting laws.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Roy Reed, who covered key events during the civil rights movement for The New York Times before returning to his native Arkansas to write and teach, has died. He was 87.

Reed died Sunday night at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, according to his wife, Norma Reed. He had a severe stroke on Saturday at his home in the nearby unincorporated community of Hogeye.

After stints at the Joplin Globe in Missouri and the Arkansas Gazette, Reed reported on the civil rights movement during the 1960s for The Times.

In 1965, he witnessed what became known as "Bloody Sunday," when state troopers and others beat black marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

In a 2015 interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Reed called the event a pivotal moment for civil rights.

"It sent a tidal wave of rage. I guess people in the North knew bad things were happening in the South, but this they couldn't avoid. It was right there on their television set, and it was so brutal," said Reed, who also worked in The Times' White House bureau and at its bureaus in New Orleans and London.

Reed left The Times in 1978 and returned to Arkansas, where he taught journalism at the University of Arkansas and wrote a biography of former Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus, in addition to an autobiography and other published works.

In addition to his wife, Reed is survived by a son, daughter and five grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.