LGBT History Month 2018: Jonathan Capehart, Pulitzer Winning Journalist

October 8 Jonathan Capehart, Pulitzer Winning Journalist Photo © MICHAEL YOUND PHOTOGRAPHY and Jonathan Capehart

“One of the burdens of being a black male is carrying the heavy weight of other people’s suspicions.”

b. July 2, 1967

Jonathan T. Capehart is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a member of The Washington Post editorial board. Capehart was born in Newark, New Jersey. He attended Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School and graduated with a degree in political science from Carleton College in 1989.

Before joining The Washington Post, Capehart was a researcher for NBC’s “The Today Show.” He went on to the New York Daily News (NYDN), where he served on the editorial board from 1993 until 2000. There, Capehart was a key contributor to a 16-month series that helped save the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The project earned the NYDN editorial board the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Best Editorial Writing.

Capehart left the NYDN for Bloomberg News and served as policy adviser to Michael Bloomberg’s successful campaign for New York City mayor. Capehart returned to the NYDN in 2002 as editorial page deputy editor. He left in 2004 to join the global public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton as senior vice president and counselor of public affairs.

In 2007 Capehart became the youngest member ever to join the editorial board of The Washington Post. His opinions focus on the intersection of social and cultural issues and politics. He hosts his own podcast, “Cape Up,” and is a contributor to MSNBC, regularly serving as a substitute anchor on programs such as “The Cycle” and “Way Too Early.” He has appeared on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Reporters Roundtable, and in 2018 he became a guest host of New York Public Radio’s “Midday on WNYC.”

Capehart often speaks publicly about issues of equality and social justice. He has moderated panel discussions on these topics for the Center for American Progress, the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Ideas Festival and The Atlantic’s Washington Ideas forum. Among other recognition, Capehart was named a 2011 Esteem Honoree—a distinction bestowed on individuals who have made a positive impact on both the African- American and LGBT communities.

In 2017 Capehart married his longtime partner, Nick Schmit, the assistant chief of protocol at the U.S. State Department. The New York Times covered the ceremony at which former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder officiated. The couple lives in Washington, D.C.

LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Icons. Each day in October, a new LGBT Icon is featured with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources.

In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.