PASSAGES: Lionel C. Barrow Jr

Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview
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PASSAGES: Lionel C. Barrow Jr


Lionel C. "Lee" Barrow Jr., former dean of the Howard University School of Communications, died Jan. 23, 2009, in Tampa, FIa., of cancer. He was 82.

Barrow was born Dec. 17, 1926, in Harlem. His father, Lionel, was an immigrant from Barbados, and his mother Wilhelmina Brookins was from Atlanta. At 5, he began school in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Brewster, N. Y, and he graduated from Riverhead High School in 1943. Barrow attended Morehouse College from 1943 to 1945, then in 1948 graduated second in his class, which included Martin Luther King Jr. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1948 to 1949 and from 1954 to 1960, earning a master's degree in 1958 and a Ph.D. in mass communication in 1960. He worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers, including the Richmond Afro-American.

In the U.S. Army in 1945-47 and 1950-53, Barrow served in the 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division in Korea from August, 1950 to May, 1951. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge (four battle stars), and he wrote for and later edited the Eagle Forward, the regiment's mimeographed daily newspaper.

From 1961 to 1971, he was a researcher in the advertising industry, during which time (1968) he was named vice president and associate director of research at Foote, Cone and Belding. While in New York City, he also was highly active in Brooklyn's Unity Democratic Club, which was largely responsible for Shirley Chisholm's election to her first public office in the New York state Assembly.

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