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“L” is for Lathan, Robert (1881-1937)

South Carolina A to Z

“L” is for Lathan, Robert (1881-1937). Editor, writer, Pulitzer Prize winner. A native of York County, Lathan graduated from Erskine College where he taught English and journalism until 1899. In 1900 he joined the staff of the State newspaper. In 1906 he became state news editor and city editor of the News and Courier and in 1910 the newspaper’s editor. His editorial “The Plight of the South” focused on the South’s lack of influence and leadership at the national level. The essay offered no solutions to the South’s “plight” but rather represented its situation in bold terms in the hope that answers might soon be found. A highly respected and widely read piece of contemporary journalism, “Plight of the South” earned Robert Lathan and the News and Courier the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1925.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.