5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
137 E. Wells St. Milwaukee WI, 53202
The Milwaukee Press Club will induct Crocker Stephenson, a veteran reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, into The Knights of the Golden Quill, the club’s highest honor for journalists. Stephenson will be honored at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, January 8 at the Newsroom Pub, 137 East Wells Street. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Stephenson was born in Rochester, New York, the second oldest of nine children. His family moved to North Carolina when he was in his teens. He attended Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, majoring in philosophy, English and theology while studying for the Lutheran ministry. He later did graduate work in English Literature at Wake Forest University before receiving a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As Stephenson tells it, Milwaukee Sentinel Editor Bob Wills hired him in 1987. Then Managing Editor Trueman Farris, unimpressed by Stephenson’s writerly pretentions, warned the cub reporter that last thing the Sentinel needed was some Shakespeare-type wasting everybody’s time composing literature. Despite such encouragement, Stephenson turned out to be a pretty good reporter.
Stephenson has won many awards, including three Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism; three awards for Excellence in Feature Writing from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors; two Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Awards; the National Academy of Sciences Award, the National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine Keck Award and the Heywood Broun Award.
He is married to Jeanne Dawson and has three children: Charlie, Joe and Irene.
About two years ago, Stephenson began to lose his vision. Doctors have not been able to define his condition, which is similar to macular degeneration.
He is currently working on a project focused on his passion — child welfare — and writes a column, “Better Angels,” which celebrates kindness, decency and compassion in the Milwaukee Community.
Stephenson described his condition in a 2017 column. “I’ve been to doctors in Chicago and Milwaukee, but my condition remains unspecified. Most likely, they say, I will lose most of my useful vision. No one knows precisely how much or by when.
“Already, I don’t always know where I am. And though I can see people standing near me, I might not know who they are or what they look like.”
Stephenson says he continues to write, thanks to adaptive technology and the support of his colleagues and editors at the Journal Sentinel.
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