The Deadline Club, which is the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, established the New York Journalism Hall of Fame in 1975 as part of its golden anniversary celebration. The Club had been founded in 1925 by former members of the Sigma Delta Chi fraternity, a predecessor to SPJ.
From the beginning, the Hall of Fame was conceived as a lifetime achievement award recognizing reporters, writers, correspondents, editors, publishers and media executives whose work had made a significant contribution to American journalism. Numbered among the original class of honorees were Walter Cronkite, Sylvia Porter, James Reston and Lowell Thomas. More recently, honorees have included Pete Hamill, William Safire, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters and Gloria Steinem.
The Deadline Club went on to host a series of Hall of Fame luncheons at Sardi’s Restaurant and at the National Arts Club. The tradition was on hiatus after 2000, when Michael Bloomberg, Ed Bradley, Irene Cornell, Osborn Elliott and Liz Smith were inducted. In 2013, the board decided to revive the tradition, and inducted eight extraordinary journalists in a ceremony at Sardi’s on Nov. 14, 2013. The honorees included Cindy Adams, Jimmy Breslin, Graydon Carter, Bob Herbert, Carol Loomis, Linda Mason, Bill Moyers and Norman Pearlstine.
The medals were also redesigned in 2013, the molds to the previous medals having been lost in the intervening years. The new design reflects not only the connection with New York, but also the organization’s support for the freedom of speech and of the press.
On Nov. 19, 2015, the Deadline Club inducted Max Frankel, Juan González, Charlie Rose, Lesley Stahl, Paul E. Steiger, and Richard B. Stolley into the Hall of Fame. On Nov. 16, 2017, the Deadline Club will induct Nancy Gibbs, N.R. "Sonny" Kleinfield, Steve Kroft, Robert Terry McDonell, and Leslie "Les" Payne into its Hall of Fame.