2017 Hall of Fame Honorees’ Biographies

The Deadline Club is pleased to announce the 2017 New York Journalism Hall of Fame. Established in 1975 to celebrate The Club’s golden anniversary, the tradition continues on Nov. 16, when five iconic New York journalists will be inducted during a luncheon ceremony at Sardi’s Restaurant. All of the honorees plan to be on hand to receive their Hall of Fame medals and speak about their remarkable careers. ­The last day to purchase tickets at the early bird rate will be Friday, November 10.

The Honorees 

(in alphabetical order)

Nancy Gibbs is the Editorial Director of the Time Inc. News Group. From 2013 to 2017, she was the 17th editor of Time, the first woman to serve in that role. Gibbs began her career as a factchecker at the magazine in 1985, before rising through the ranks, and along the way, writing more than 175 Time magazine cover stories and covering four presidential campaigns. She won the National Magazine Award for her cover story of Time’s black-bordered September 11, 2001 special issue. She is the co-author, with Time’s Michael Duffy, of two best-selling presidential histories: “The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity” and “The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House.” She has received numerous awards, including the Matrix Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York.

N.R. “Sonny” Kleinfield started at The New York Times in 1977, after five years at The Wall Street Journal. He has specialized in feature writing and long-form narratives for the Times’ metro desk. He wrote many of the stories about the aftermath of Sept. 11, including more than 100 of the Portraits of Grief sketches of the lives lost in the attack. He was one of the writers on the “How Race Is Lived in America” series that won a Pulitzer Prize and Polk Award. His work has received numerous awards, including a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, an American Society of Newspaper Editors award and five Deadline Club awards. He is the author of eight nonfiction books, and has written for many magazines, including Harper’s, The Atlantic, Esquire, Rolling Stone and The New York Times Magazine.

Steve Kroft has been a correspondent with CBS’s 60 Minutes since 1989. In 2016, the 12-time Emmy winner scored the last interview of Barack Obama as president. His stories in recent years included the first televised interview of the Iranian president after the country signed a nuclear agreement with the United States, an investigation into insider trading in the U.S. Congress and the failure to treat mental illness in America. Kroft began his career as a correspondent for CBS News, and served in the London, Miami, Dallas and New York bureaus. He was awarded the 2010 Paul White Award by the Radio, Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Emmy; he has received many other journalism awards, including George Polk, Peabody and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

Terry McDonell was the editor of the Time Inc. Sports Group from 2006 to 2012. He was hired as the eighth managing editor of Sports Illustrated in 2002. He previously held the top editorial masthead position at numerous magazines including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Outside and US; he was inducted into the ASME Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2014, he cofounded LitHub.com. McDonell is also a novelist, and has written and produced for film and television. Knopf published his memoir “The Accidental Life” in 2016. He is president of the board of directors of The Paris Review Foundation, and sits on the Board of Overseers of The Columbia Journalism Review.

Leslie “Les” Payne is a former reporter, editor and columnist at Newsday. He held roles at the newspaper responsible for national, foreign and health and science coverage, and as the Editor of New York Newsday. His news staffs won numerous awards, including six Pulitzer Prizes. Previously, Payne and two other Newsday reporters won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles about the international flow of heroin from the poppy fields of Turkey to New York. In 1975, Payne co-founded the National Association of Black Journalists, and later served as the group’s fourth president. Payne has delivered the prestigious H. L. Mencken Lecture at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, and was the Inaugural Professor for the David Laventhol Chair at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

At a Glance

What: The New York Journalism Hall of Fame
When: Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Reception: 11:30 a.m. Awards luncheon begins at noon.
Where: Sardi’s Restaurant, 234 W 44th Street, New York, NY

Purchase tickets or tables here.

Sponsored table of 10: $2,500

Standard table of 10: $1,500

Nonmember tickets: $150

Member tickets: $100

About the New York Journalism Hall of Fame

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