Hall of Honor

Nelson Poynter

Nelson Poynter, the benefactor for whom the Poynter Institute is named, was born in Sullivan, Indiana, in 1903. His father bought the St. Petersburg Times in 1912, and the family moved to Florida. Nelson Poynter graduated with a B.A. from Indiana University in 1925 and a master's degree from Yale in 1927.

Over the years, Poynter worked in the newspaper business in a number of states and in a variety of capacities, including reporter, editor, advertising salesman, and business manager. He began buying stock from his father in 1935, became general manager of the St. Petersburg Times in 1938, editor in 1939, president in 1953 (upon his father's death) and chairman of the board in 1969.

In addition to his work in journalism, Poynter was involved in the U.S. Information Agency during World War II, helped organize the Foreign Information Service, which started the Voice of America, and with his wife founded the Congressional Quarterly.


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