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Karl Fleming

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 Karl Fleming Biography

Award-winning Newsweek magazine and CBS journalist Karl Fleming grew up in a Methodist Church orphanage in North Carolina and went on to become one of the most respected reporters covering the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Fleming began his journalism career as a $30-a-week reporter for The Wilson Daily Times before joining Newsweek magazine in Atlanta in the late 1960s. He covered all of the major events of the Civil Rights Movement for Newsweek: the Selma demonstrations and beatings, the 1963 Birmingham protests by Martin Luther King, George Wallace’s schoolhouse door stand in Alabama, the violent 1962 integration of the University of Mississippi, the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers in Mississippi, the 1964 assassination of three civil rights workers in Mississippi and the 1965 “Watts Riots” in Los Angeles. He was attacked and almost killed by blacks in the so-called “Son of Watts” riots in 1966.

He reported extensively on Dr. Martin Luther King, including his assassination and funeral. He also reported on the assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, on Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan-Sirhan, and on the trial of Jack Ruby.

In the 1980s he was an on-air reporter, producer, and managing editor for CBS News in Los Angeles. Following that, he was editor and publisher of California Business Magazine and he and his wife, Anne Taylor Fleming, wrote a bestseller, The First Time. During this period, he wrote dozens of articles and editorial opinion section page pieces for Newsweek, Esquire, New York, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times.

His memoir, Son of the Rough South: An Uncivil Memoir was published in 2005 and received widespread and universal critical praise from everybody including The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Chicago Tribune, which selected it as one of the best books of the year.


Covering the Civil Rights Movement

Witness to History

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