Former NPR President and U.S. Ambassador Delano Lewis has died at 84

Delano Lewis, former National Public Radio President and U.S. ambassador to South Africa, passed away at age 84.

His career: Delano Lewis was named president of NPR in 1993, making history as the first Black person in the role.
* He led a distinguished career, holding roles at the Justice Department, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Edward Brooke and Representative Walter Fauntroy.
* During his tenure, Lewis played a key role in advocating against the elimination of public broadcasting funds, and attempted to merge NPR with Public Radio International.

His life and background: Born in 1938 in Arkansas City, Kansas, Lewis grew up in a segregated community and manifested an interest in civil rights law at a young age.
* He graduated law school from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka in 1963.
* In the late 60s, Lewis served as associate director and country director for the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Uganda.

Later years: After leaving NPR in 1998, Lewis planned to retire but was called upon again by the government.
* Vice President Al Gore nominated him to be the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, a position he held from 1999 to 2001.
* His 2019 autobiography, “No Condition Is Permanent: A Collection of Memories”, recounts these experiences.

In their words: NPR CEO John Lansing praised Lewis’ “remarkable career” of public service.
* “[A] loyal NPR listener and supporter of public radio, he joked about the lengthy process to become head of NPR saying: ‘I never worked so hard for a pay cut in my life.’ The NPR and public radio family join his family and friends, who will miss him dearly,” Lansing said in a statement.

View original article on NPR

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